• Almagro opens Nice title defense on Wednesday

    5/23/12 2:53 AM | Kelli DeMario
    Almagro opens Nice title defense on Wednesday Nicolas Almagro is set to begin his run at the 2012 Open de Nice Côte d’Azur, as he takes to the court against France’s Edouard Roger-Vasselin. The Spaniard is joined in action by top seed John Isner, who meets veteran Xavier Malisse.

    (1) John Isner vs. Xavier Malisse

    World No. 11 John Isner trails World No. 80 Xavier Malisse 0-2 in the head-to-head series. Wednesday signals their first meeting since 2010.

    Isner returns to clay-court competition following a second-round loss to Andreas Seppi at the Masters 1000 Rome. The 27-year-old American, set to compete in his first Open de Nice Côte d’Azur, is bidding for his 22nd victory of the season.

    Malisse defeated Yen-Hsun Lu in the opening round, 7-5, 6-4. The 31-year-old Belgian will attempt to record his eighth tour-level win in 2012.

    (3) Nicolas Almagro vs. Edouard Roger-Vasselin

    World No. 14 Nicolas Almagro holds a 1-0 series edge against world No. 83 Edouard Roger-Vasselin, having won their only previous meeting at the 2012 Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell.

    Almagro is 30-11 after reaching the round of 16 at the Masters 1000 Rome. The 26-year-old won consecutive matches before falling to world No. 7 Tomas Berdych, 6-7(3), 3-6.

    Roger-Vasselin began the week with a 6-4, 7-6(2) ousting of compatriot Benoit Paire. The 28-year-old Frenchman looks to secure his eighth tour-level victory this season.

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