8/13/12 5:18 AM | Cheryl Murray
Lleyton Hewitt will take to the court against Mikhail Youzhny on Monday at the Western & Southern Open.
Lleyton Hewitt vs. Mikhail Youzhny
Lleyton Hewitt heads into this first round match with a good 4-1 record over Mikhail Youzhny. The Russian is ranked far above Hewitt at 28th to the Aussie's No. 134, but Hewitt's ranking dip was largely because of a toe injury and surgery recovery time.
Hewitt has had a pair of good results in his last two tournaments, making the final in Newport and the third round at the Olympics, taking out world No. 14 Marin Cilic along the way.
Youzhny's most recent results haven't been as impressive as Hewitt's. The Russian was knocked out of the Olympics in the first round and took a second-round loss in Toronto last week. He had a great Wimbledon with a run to the quarterfinals, where he lost in straight sets to eventual champion Roger Federer.
Prediction – Hewitt for the upset win.
Julien Benneteau vs. Denis Istomin
Denis Istomin has been playing well recently. He had a round of 16 run at Wimbledon along with a third-round showing at the Olympics. He will take on Frenchman Julien Benneteau, who suffered a bad elbow injury in Monte Carlo this year but made his way back to the tour quickly.
Benneteau holds a slight 2-1 edge over Istomin, but the Uzbekistani won their most recent encounter this year on the hard courts of San Jose.
Istomin is ranked three spots lower than Benneteau at No. 33 in the world, but the surface should give him an advantage on Monday. Istomin in 3.
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