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  • Andy Roddick and Kei Nishikori headline Wednesday's San Jose action

    2/20/08 5:08 AM | Jonathan Morgan
    Andy Roddick and Kei Nishikori headline Wednesday's San Jose action America's #1 Andy Roddick will play only his second match since the debacle in Austrlia against Kohlschreiber, while Kei Nishikori will attempt to back up his Delray title with a strong showing here.

    Roddick and Nishikori will be playing at night, however, and there are day matches to cover.

    Benjamin Becker (GER) vs. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP)

    Simply looking at this match on paper, or, more specifically, at the player's countries, you would immediately favor the non-Spaniard on this indoor court. GGL, however, has played some solid tennis thus far in 2008 in hard courts. He's scored some good scalps on hard, while Becker has severely struggled. This match can go either way, but I will actually favor the Spaniard in this one, based on his recent play.

    Bobby Reynolds (USA) vs. Radek Stepanek (CZE)

    Stepanek is an absolute beast on indoor events. San Jose is no different. The courts here are playing quite fast and should favor the break dancing, big serving, net mongering Czech. Don't count Reynolds completely out, he he does have a shot in this one. They played just a few weeks ago in a challenger event in Wroclaw, with Stepanek winning in straights. I would expect the same sort of result here.

    Kristof Vliegen (BEL) vs. Robby Ginepri (USA)

    Both players have been playing well as of late, with Ginepri reaching the Delray semis last week with Vliegen winning the aforementioned Wroclaw challenger a few weeks ago. This one is a bit tough to call. Vliegen has a big serve and on this quick court could use it to a massive advantage. They played each other once, back in Stockholm in 2003, a completely irrelevent result. Expect this one to remain close, and I will favor the American in this one, albeit very slightly.

    Kei Nishikori (JPN) vs. Diego Hartfield (ARG)

    Ahh, yes, Mr. Nishikori. The 18 year old qualified and won the event last week on the other side of the country. Here he is 3 days later playing in San Jose, seeing if he can back up his results. His fitness and mentality will be key. Can he handle the expectation of another week of stellar play? If he plays like he did last week, he should have no problem. Hartfield is much more comfortable on clay, but if Nishikori is off, Hartfield can score the upset.

    Andy Roddick (USA) vs. Chris Guccione (AUS)

    A battle of big serves here. Roddick should have no trouble putting Guccione to rest. Neither player has the greatest ground game around, but Roddick is simply a better player than Guccione. Shaking off of the rust may be a factor as Roddick has played very little since the Aussie Open. If his serve is off at the start, Guccione might sneak a break, hold out and make things interesting. But I doubt it. Roddick should take this easily.

    Tommy Haas (GER) vs. Robert Kendrick (USA)

    Haas got beaten down by Grandpa Pete Sampras in an exhibition last night. Whether he was actually trying or he was merely trying to rub Sampras' ego, or whatever the case is, he still lost. Haas' shoulder injury might hamper him some as he tries to regain the muscle and strength in that arm. Kendrick's big serve can help him and score the possible upset. Last week, Haas lost to Hartfield in Delray, so another loss to Kendrick is not completely out of the question. If Haas' shoulder is feeling better, he should have no problem. Kendrick still has a shot.



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