• Stepanek, Baghdatis continue New Haven campaigns

    8/25/10 5:35 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Stepanek, Baghdatis continue New Haven campaigns Radek Stepanek and Marcos Baghdatis will be looking for places in the New Haven quarterfinals on Wednesday. They are set for meetings with Victor Hanescu and Juan Ignacio Chela, respectively.

    (16) Victor Hanescu vs. (LL) Radek Stepanek

    Hanescu and Stepanek will be going head-to-head for the first time in five years when they do battle in the third round of the Pilot Pen Tennis tournament on Wednesday. They split a pair of meetings in 2004 and 2005, with Stepanek prevailing at the Paris Masters before Hanescu got revenge at the Monte-Carlo Masters.

    Stepanek has already won four matches this week, as he wanted to play in qualifying in order to get some matches on his belt and shake off considerable rust. The 31-year-old Czech lost in the final round, but he got a lucky loser spot when Mardy Fish withdrew and he has since taken out Pablo Cuevas and Fernando Gonzalez. Hanescu got a first-round bye as the No. 16 seed and Daniel Brands in his opener. Look for Stepanek's run to continue with a three-set win.

    (1) Marcos Baghdatis vs. (14) Juan Ignacio Chela

    Baghdatis has played a lot of matches this summer and he reached the Cincinnati semifinals last week, but that's not stopping him from giving his best in New Haven. The 18th-ranked Cypriot got a bye as the top seed and then eased past Igor Andreev in straight sets on Tuesday. Baghdatis is now 36-20 for his 2010 campaign and he is set for a fifth career encounter with Chela (series tied at 2-2, all on hard courts).

    Chela is 20-19 this season and came back from a set deficit to beat Donald Young 6-0 in the third on Tuesday. The 31-year-old Argentine, however, does his best work on clay and he won a title in Houston earlier this season. Chela went down to Baghdatis five months ago in Miami and it should be no different this time, although you never know when Baghdatis might stop showing interest.

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