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French-heavy second day in Men’s section at Madrid Open

With the Madrid Open being one of the big warm-up tournaments for the upcoming French Open, many tennis stars will be keen to gain momentum going into the Roland Garros event.

Day two in the Men’s section of the clay court competition sees France’s finest in action, with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet all featuring against lesser-ranked opposition.

Elsewhere, top 10 seeds and rising stars Milos Raonic, who had a bye from the first round, and Grigor Dimitrov (both 66/1 title chances with Coral) also face battles.

Of the three Frenchmen, Gasquet (3/10 odds-on favourite) arguably faces the toughest challenge, against giant Croat Ivo Karlovic (12/5), who previously held the record for fastest ever serve.

However, with Karlovic now being 36-years-old, Gasquet, who has a 3-1 career win record over him, should be able to reach the second round, where Tomas Berdych awaits the winner. Gasquet is a tempting 11/4 shout for victory in three sets.

Tsonga (odds-on at 1/3), meanwhile, is up against Czech Lukas Rosol (9/4), who was beaten by the former in straight sets in a Davis Cup clash on clay last year. The Frenchman is 5/6 to win 2-0.

Monfils (3/10) has a potentially tricky tie against Viktor Troicki (12/5), but has defeated the Serb in all three of their meetings.

Dimitrov (1/6), meanwhile, faces Donald Young (7/2), while Raonic (8/15) takes on Juan Monaco (11/8), who saw off Spaniard Nicolas Almagro, in the second round.

In the women’s draw, meanwhile, big names such as Eugenie Bouchard, Simona Halep and Venus Williams, as well as British hope Heather Watson, have already exited in the first round.

But the likes of Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic and Petra Kvitova are all in action on Tuesday.

Defending champion Sharapova is up against Colombian qualifier Mariana Duque-Marino, and the Russian is heavily odds-on at 1/20 to beat her opponent, who she thrashed in Acapulco earlier this year too.

Ivanovic (8/15) has a more difficult encounter with Elina Svitolina (11/8), while 2011 winner Kvitova (2/9) takes on CoCo Vandeweghe (3/1).