• Blake and Stepanek in Monday Washington action

    8/1/11 4:47 PM | Cheryl Murray
    Blake and Stepanek in Monday Washington action American veteran James Blake, attempting another ATP comeback, will be the marquee match on Monday night at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic.

    James Blake vs. Tatsuma Ito

    In March of this year, American James Blake was ranked 173 in the world. He has since surged up to No. 90 with some success on the Challenger circuit. The American lost in the second round in both Atlanta and LA, but he lost to John Isner and Juan Martin Del Potro – and more importantly he played well in both matches.

    His first round opponent this week is Japan’s Tatsuma Ito, ranked 102 in the world. Tatsuma’s ranking forces him to spend most of his time on the Challenger tour or trying to qualify for main tour events. With Blake playing well, Ito is likely to find himself out of DC early.

    Radek Stepanek vs. Philipp Petzschner

    In what could be the match of the day, 32 year-old Czech Radek Stepanek will take on the German veteran Philipp Petzschner. The two men have never met on court, but they are both scrappy fighters. The speedy surface in Washington could help Stepanek, who prefers to serve and volley when he gets the chance.

    Another point in the Czech man’s favor is that Petzschner has had a dismal couple of months. Starting at Wimbledon, the German lost in the first round in 3 consecutive tournaments, his one win coming in Davis Cup against France’s Michael Llodra.

    Prediction – Stepanek in straight sets.

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