• Simon, Tipsarevic meet in Madrid third round

    5/10/12 3:16 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Simon, Tipsarevic meet in Madrid third round For a second consecutive Masters tournament, Gilles Simon and Janko Tipsarevic are going to clash during third-round action. The winner will face either Novak Djokovic or Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarters.

    Gilles Simon and Janko Tipsarevic will be going head-to-head for the fifth time in their careers and for the second tme in as many Masters events when they do battle in the third round of the Mutua Madrid Open on Thursday.

    Simon has won every single one of their previous encounters, including a 6-0, 4-6, 6-1 decision in round three of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters late last month. That marked their first clay-court meeting, as Simon got the best of Tipsarevic on three prior hard-court occasions.

    Tipsarevic will be hard-pressed to get over the hump because the edge in current form is not in his favor. The eighth-ranked Serb is a solid 20-9 for his 2012 campaign but he was hotter at the start of the season. He lost a crucial Davis Cup rubber last Month to Tomas Berdych, fell to Simon in Monte Carlo, then got blown out by Rafael Nadal in the Barcelona quarterfinals.

    Simon's year has progressed in much different fashion. A dismal start was punctuated by an absolutely horrendous February clay-court swing, but he is on fire now. The 12th-ranked Frenchman reached the semifinals in Monte Carlo before capturing the Bucharest title. Simon is 23-10 for the season following wins this week over Fabio Fognini and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

    Tipsarevic may have a mental block when it comes to facing Simon and although he is playing decent tennis at the moment, it's hard to imagine his current level will be good enough. Simon in two relatively competitive sets is the pick.

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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