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  • Roddick opens in Memphis against Malisse

    2/22/12 4:28 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Roddick opens in Memphis against Malisse Andy Roddick looks to bounce back from an early loss in San Jose when he takes the court on Wednesday in Memphis. The defending champion will kick off his campaign against Xavier Malisse.


    Andy Roddick will kick off his title defense at the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships on Wednesday night with a 10th career meeting against familiar foe Xavier Malisse.

    The 29-year-old American is dominating Malisse almost as much as he owns Tommy Robredo. All nine of their previous ATP-level encounters have gone Roddick's way, including seven on hard courts. They most recently faced each other two seasons ago in Atlanta, where Roddick survived 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.

    For all of Roddick's problems, there is no reason why his dominance should not continue. He is down at No. 27 in the world but he has won two matches this year and both of his losses were mostly due to injury. He fell to Lleyton Hewitt in the second round of the Australian Open and was ousted last week in San Jose by eventual runner-up Denis Istomin.

    Malisse has been brutally bad ever since Wimbledon last summer. The 31-year-old Belgian is 0-4 in 2012 and he is on a six-match losing streak dating back to last season. He may have reached a low point in San Jose, where he got blown out 6-1, 6-2 by Robby Ginepri.

    Based on his current form, Malisse's only prayer is to run into a hobbled opponent. If Roddick's ankle is 100 percent, he should roll in straight sets.

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