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  • Fish continues Atlanta defense against Devvarman

    7/22/11 4:28 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Fish continues Atlanta defense against Devvarman Defending Atlanta champion Mardy Fish will bid for a return trip to the semis when he goes up against Somdev Devvarman on Friday. Ryan Harrison and Rajeev Ram are also in action.

    (1) Mardy Fish vs. (8) Somdev Devvarman

    Fish and Devvarman will be squaring off for the third time in their careers when they clash in the quarterfinals of the Atlanta Tennis Championships on Friday night. They faced each other twice last summer on grass, with Fish dominating 6-1, 6-4 at Queen's Club and 6-2, 6-0 in Newport. Devvarman, however, will have a better chance on hard courts and he is also in the midst of his best season on tour. India's top player is 17-14 this year and he registers five spots off his career-high at No. 68 in the world. So far this week Devvarman has taken out Ryan Sweeting and Tatsuma Ito.

    The defending champion of this event, Fish looked like he was on a mission for another title on Thursday when he cruised past Nicolas Mahut 6-3, 6-3 in his opener. It was an encouraging performance from Fish, who clearly is ready to bounce back from a pair of Davis Cup losses to Spain earlier this month. The ninth-ranked American is now 23-14 for his 2011 campaign. This one should be far more competitive than their previous two encounters, but Fish in straight sets is the pick.

    Ryan Harrison vs. Rajeev Ram

    What has already been a huge week for both players will get even better for one when Harrison and Ram go head-to-head in a surprising quarterfinal in Atlanta on Friday night. Ranked No. 272 in the world, Ram had to qualify just to get into the main draw. Upon doing so, the veteran American scored two big wins by taking out fifth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov and former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt. Ram had not won a single ATP-level match the entire season prior to this week.

    Harrison also pulled off a considerable upset during second-round action on Thursday, overcoming No. 4 seed Xavier Malisse 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4. The 19-year-old American, who eased past Yuichi Sugita in his opener, is now 6-10 at the ATP level for his 2011 campaign. Not included in that statistic is the impressive feat of having played his way into all three Grand Slams this year. Harrison is more accustomed to tennis's big stages of late, so look for the world No. 120 to prevail in three sets.

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