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  • Wawrinka, Anderson lead Casablanca field

    4/8/13 5:27 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Wawrinka, Anderson lead Casablanca field Stanislas Wawrinka headlines this week's Casablanca field as the No. 1 seed. He is joined in the bracket by Kevin Anderson, Martin Klizan, and Benoit Paire.

    The Grand Prix Hassan II helps kick off the 2013 spring clay-court swing this week. With the Monte-Carlo Masters on the immediate horizon and most of the top players in the world taking a break, a 250-point title will be mostly up for grabs.

    Stanislas Wawrinka leads the way in Casablanca as the top seed and tournament favorite. Wawrinka will open against either Blaz Kavcic or Mehdi Ziadi before a possible quarterfinal encounter with No. 6 seed Daniel Gimeno-Traver.

    Rounding out the contingent of first-round bye recipients are Kevin Anderson, Martin Klizan, and Benoit Paire. Anderson, seeded second, is arguably the hottest player in the field despite having undergone minor elbow surgery after the Australian Open. The 6'8'' South African is 14-5 for the season, which includes a runner-up finish in Sydney and a quarterfinal showing in Indian Wells. Anderson could meet two-time defending champion Pablo Andujar in the second round.

    Paire and Wawrinka, good friends and also doubles partners this week, are on a collision course for the semifinals in the top half of the bracket. The fourth-seeded Frenchman, however, may first have to get past Aljaz Bedene and either Jurgen Melzer or Tommy Robredo. Klizan is in a wide open third quarter of the draw that also includes Robin Haase, Paul-Henri Mathieu, and Roberto Bautista-Agut.

    One first-round matchup to watch pits Melzer against Kamke in a rematch of a recent Miami third-round showdown. Melzer overcame Kamke in three sets on his way to the quarterfinals.

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