• Gasquet, Nishikori open in at Paris Masters

    11/8/11 12:38 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Gasquet, Nishikori open in at Paris Masters Richard Gasquet faces Kevin Anderson in his Paris opener on Tuesday. Kei Nishikori is also in action as he goes up against Sergiy Stakhovsky.

    (16) Richard Gasquet vs. Kevin Anderson

    Gasquet and Anderson will be going head-to-head for the third time in their careers when they square off in round two of the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday. Both of their previous encounters went in Gasquet's favor; 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-5 at the 2010 U.S. Open and 7-6(4), 6-4 this summer in Cincinnati.

    The 20th-ranked Frenchman, however, is a disappointing 2-2 since the U.S. Open. He suffered blowout losses to Rafael Nadal in Davis Cup and to Gilles Muller in Metz. Anderson is in form, boasting a 42-26 record for the season. The 6'7'' South African recently advanced to quarterfinals in Beijing and Stockholm in addition to a semifinal in Vienna. Look for Anderson, who ousted Gilles Muller on Monday, to score a three-set upset.

    (SE) Kei Nishikori vs. (Q) Sergiy Stakhovsky

    Nishikori will be back in action two days after finishing runner-up to Roger Federer in Basel. The Japanese sensation stunned Novak Djokovic during semifinal action last weekend and he now stands at a career-high ranking of No. 24 in the world. Nishikori, who earned a special exemption into Paris thanks to his run in Basel, is now an impressive 36-21 for the season.

    This marks the second career meeting between Nishikori and Stakhovsky. They previously faced each other this spring in round two of the French Open, with Stakhovsky prevailing 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(3). The Ukrainian has cooled off of late and he finds himself down at No. 63 in the world with a lackluster 24-26 record for the year. Stakhovsky, however, came through qualifying over the weekend so he could be getting back on track. Don't be surprised if he takes advantage of a tired Nishikori for a three-set victory.

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