• Berdych, Dolgopolov battle at Rogers Cup

    8/10/11 3:16 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Berdych, Dolgopolov battle at Rogers Cup Tomas Berdych has a tough task on his hands right at the start this week in Montreal. He is going up against difficult unseeded foe Alexandr Dolgopolov on Wednesday.

    (7) Tomas Berdych vs. Alexandr Dolgopolov

    Berdych and Dolgopolov will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers when they clash in the second round of the Rogers Cup on Wednesday. Their only previous encounter came at this very same event last year, when Berdych prevailed 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-4 in third-round action. Dolgopolov, though, has now emerged as one of the brightest stars on tour. The 22-year-old Ukrainian is 26-18 for the season and he is coming off a clay-court title in Umag two weeks ago.

    While Berdych is also in the midst of a stellar 2011 campaign, it has not been quite as successful as last year's breakout showing. The ninth-ranked Czech owns a 34-15 record and is making his U.S. Open Series debut after reaching the Bastad semifinals last month. However, his latest performance was not encouraging; he bowed out of Bastad 6-1, 6-0 at the hands of Robin Soderling. This could go either way, but Berdych once again in three sets is the pick.

    Ivo Karlovic vs. (Q) Philipp Petzschner

    Karlovic and Petzschner will be squaring off for the fourth time in their careers at the ATP level when they do battle in Montreal on Wednesday. Although Karlovic leads the head-to-head series 2-1, he will be out for revenge in this one. These two competitors faced each other earlier this season in the decisive fifth rubber in a Davis Cup first-round showdown between Croatia and Germany. Playing on the road, Petzschner withstood the fastest serve of all time by Karlovic and scored a 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-6(5) victory.

    Petzschner is struggling to maintain that momentum at the moment, but he is a respectable 20-16 for the season and could be rounding into form in time for the U.S. Open. The world No. 80 qualified just to get into the main draw and then upset Gilles Simon 7-5, 6-2 in round one. Karlovic has been slowed by injury problems, but he outlasted Juan Monaco in a third-set tiebreaker on Monday. Look for this to come down to first-serve percentages, with a slight edge going to Petzschner.

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