• Tsonga, Haas in Wimbledon first-round action

    6/25/12 10:25 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Tsonga, Haas in Wimbledon first-round action Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will begin his Wimbledon campaign on Tuesday against 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt. Fellow Germans Tommy Haas and Philipp Kohlschreiber are also taking the court.

    (5) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs. (WC) Lleyton Hewitt

    On paper this is without question one of marquee matchups of the Wimbledon first round, pitting 2011 Wimbledon semifinalist Tsonga against 2002 champion Hewitt. The question, however, is whether or not Hewitt can keep it competitive. The 31-year-old Aussie has played only two matches since February due to physical problems and he is looking for his first win since the third round of the Australian Open.

    Tsonga, on the other hand, is 29-12 for the season and he recently advanced to the French Open quarterfinals. The sixth-ranked Frenchman had a chance to go even further, but he missed four match points in the fourth set against Novak Djokovic and lost in five. Tsonga won a single match at Queen's Club before falling to Ivan Dodig in a third-set tiebreaker. Hewitt is tough on big hitters but he is rusty, so Tsonga in straight sets is the pick.

    (27) Philipp Kohlschreiber vs. (WC) Tommy Haas

    Kohlschreiber and Haas will be going head-to-head for the fourth time in their careers and for the second time this month when they do battle in the Wimbledon opening round on Tuesday. All three of their previous meetings have come on the grass courts of Halle. Their first two went to third-set tiebreakers (those matches were split) and Haas most recently prevailed 7-6(5), 7-5 en route to the title.

    It was the 13th career title for the 34-year-old German, who has surged to No. 50 in the world. Haas also reached the third round of the French Open and he is 14-6 for the season. Kohlschreiber also played the week after Halle and he retired from an Eastbourne quarterfinal against Andreas Seppi due to ankle injury. If Kohlschreiber is 100 percent, this will be another high-quality affair between the two Germans. All things being equal, look for Haas to advance after four competitive sets.

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