• Blake, Harrison lead American charge on Tuesday in Memphis

    2/21/12 2:45 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Blake, Harrison lead American charge on Tuesday in Memphis A host of Americans will be in action on Tuesday at the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships. James Blake is taking on Ryan Sweeting while an all-wildcard battle features Ryan Harrison and Jack Sock.

    James Blake vs. Ryan Sweeting

    Blake and Sweeting will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers at the ATP level and third time overall when they clash in round one of the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships on Tuesday afternoon. Sweeting prevailed 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 two years ago in Washington, but Blake scored a 6-2, 7-6(15) victory on the clay courts of the Sarasota Challenger last season.

    Despite slowing down at 32 years old, Blake registers at No. 61 in the world thanks to a decent run on American hard courts last summer. This will be the first match of 2012 for the former world No. 4. Sweeting started the year strong, qualifying in Sydney and taking David Ferrer to five sets in round two of the Australian Open. However, the world No. 78 has lost in the first round of two straight events (one Challenger and last week in San Jose). This could go either way, but Blake in three sets is the pick.

    (WC) Ryan Harrison vs. (WC) Jack Sock

    A pair of 19-year-old Americans will be squaring off as Harrison and Sock will try to make the most of their wild cards on Tuesday night in Memphis. Harrison has to be considered the favorite, armed with far more experience at the ATP level. The world No. 73 may be finding the form that he showed last summer before struggling in the fall. He benefited from a good draw last week in San Jose and reached the semifinals before succumbing to eventual champion Milos Raonic.

    Sock comes in at No. 306 in the rankings, with one ATP match victory under his belt (2011 U.S. Open first round). He played last week in San Jose and lost another all-wildcard matchup in three sets to Denis Kudla. Sock has been dealing with a minor abdominal injury, so that will make this test even more difficult than it would be at 100 percent. Count on Harrison advancing in straight sets.

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