• Djokovic returns, Gonzalez presses onward

    4/27/11 5:38 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Djokovic returns, Gonzalez presses onward  Novak Djokovic takes the court for second-round action in Belgrade on Wednesday. Fernando Gonzalez will also be featured as he is set for a marquee matchup with Feliciano Lopez.

    (1) Novak Djokovic vs. Adrian Ungar

    Djokovic will attempt to continue his flawless 2011 campaign when he takes the court at the Serbia Open on Wednesday. The second-ranked Serb is a perfect 24-0 this season, having captured titles at the Australian Open, Dubai Duty Free Championships, and both U.S. Masters events in Indian Wells and Miami. Djokovic won this event in its inaugural year two seasons ago, but he retired from his quarterfinal match in 2010 due to injury.

    Up first for Djokovic this time is Ungur, who has already played four matches in Belgrade. The 175th-ranked Romanian beat Marsel Ilhan in the final round of qualifying and followed that up with a hard-fought victory over Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo in round one. Ungur needed two hours and 48 minutes to prevail on Tuesday, so he could be feeling the effects of what has already been a long week. Count on Djokovic dominating in easy straight sets.

    Feliciano Lopez vs. (WC) Fernando Gonzalez

    Lopez and Gonzalez will be squaring off for the fourth time in their careers and first time since 2006 when they do battle in the Belgrade first round on Wednesday. Gonzalez leads the head-to-head series 3-0, including 2-0 on clay. The veteran Chilean, though, is making his first appearance since the 2010 U.S. Open in the aftermath of hip surgery. He took out an error-prone Martin Klizan 6-2, 6-4 on Tuesday.

    Despite playing on a slow surface that is not an ideal fit for his game, Lopez is rounding into form during the clay-court swing. The 37th-ranked Spaniard reached the Barcelona quarterfinals last week and he took out Juan Monaco in straight sets on Tuesday. Lopez is now a respectable 11-11 on the year. Gonzalez has an edge on clay and obviously he has the talent to win this match, but he is in for a much different test than the one he got in his opener. Look for Lopez to serve big and take out Gonzalez in three sets.

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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