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  • Isner, Gulbis aim for Delray Beach quarterfinals

    2/29/12 5:05 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Isner, Gulbis aim for Delray Beach quarterfinals John Isner will take the court in Delray Beach on Wednesday against Ryan Sweeting. Ernests Gulbis and Steve Darcis are also bidding for spots in the quarterfinals.


    (1) John Isner vs. Ryan Sweeting

    Isner registers at a career-high ranking of No. 11 in the world and his quest for the Top 10 will continue in the second round of the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships on Wednesday night. The 6'9'' American got past Jesse Levine 6-4, 7-6(15) on Tuesday after saving five match points in the second set. Isner is looking for the form that earned him a Davis Cup upset win over Roger Federer, but he lost to eventual champion Jurgen Melzer in the Memphis quarterfinals last week.

    Up next for the top seed is a first-ever meeting with Sweeting. The 82nd-ranked American already has four wins at the ATP level this season, and he also took David Ferrer to five sets at the U.S. Open. Sweeting kicked off his Delray Beach campaign with a 6-1, 6-1 blowout of Donald Young on Monday. Sweeting is in dangerous form, but if Isner serves well he should be able to get the job done in straight sets.

    Ernests Gulbis vs. Steve Darcis

    Gulbis and Darcis will also be going head-to-head for the first time in their careers when they battle for a quarterfinal spot on Wednesday afternoon. Darcis is armed with a rare clean bill of health and he has played stellar tennis of late. The 68th-ranked Belgian finished runner-up at a Challenger event in Dallas, reached the San Jose quarterfinals, and he upset third-seeded Viktor Troicki 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 on Tuesday.

    The same cannot be said for Gulbis, who is mired in yet another extensive slump. He is toiling down at No. 78 in the world and he had not won a single match at an ATP event in 2012 prior to this week. Gulbis will hope that a 6-4, 6-1 first-round victory over Alejandro Falla will put him back on track. This could go either way, but look for Darcis' consistency to lead him to a three-set win.


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