• Tipsarevic opens in Tokyo, Fish faces Gulbis

    10/4/11 6:10 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Tipsarevic opens in Tokyo, Fish faces Gulbis Janko Tipsarevic will contest his Tokyo opener against Dmitry Tursunov on Wednesday. Mardy Fish and Ernests Gulbis, meanwhile, are battling for a place in the quarterfinals.

    (4) Mardy Fish vs. Ernests Gulbis

    Fish and Gulbis will be going head-to-head for the third time in their careers and for the third time in the last two months when they clash in second-round action at the Tokyo Open on Wednesday. They split a pair of U.S. Open Series encounter this summer; Gulbis prevailed 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 to win the Los Angeles title before Fish got revenge with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory in Montreal.

    Fish has the edge in current form, as the 29-year-old boasts a stellar 40-18 record for the season after outlasting countryman Ryan Harrison in three sets on Monday. The world No. 8, who finished runner-up in Montreal and reached the Cincinnati semis, is a serious World Tour Finals contender. Gulbis is an even 18-18 for his 2011 campaign after beating Lukasz Kubot 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 on Tuesday. The 49th-ranked Latvian will have to recover quickly to pull off the upset, and that isn't likely.

    Dmitry Tursunov vs. (6) Janko Tipsarevic

    Tursunov and Tipsarevic will also be squaring off for the third time in their careers at the ATP level when they wage first-round battle on Wednesday. Their only previous hard-court encounter came five years ago in Doha, where Tursunov scored a 7-5, 6-2 win. Tipsarevic turned the tide in the 2008 Wimbledon third round, prevailing 7-6(1), 7-6(3), 6-3.

    The sixth-seeded Serb is a considerable favorite this time because he is absolutely on fire. Tipsarevic recently advanced to the U.S. Open quarterfinals and he captured his first ATP title last week in Kuala Lumpur. Tursunov continues to make his way back from injury and he is up to No. 40 in the world with a respectable 15-12 record this season. The veteran Russian could take advantage of a tired opponent if he serves big, but Tipsarevic in three sets is the pick.

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