• Ferrero and Gulbis in first-round action in Umag

    7/10/12 3:54 AM | Cheryl Murray
    Ferrero and Gulbis in first-round action in Umag Ernests Gublis will kick off his 2012 Umag bid against Spanish qualifier Gorka Fraile. Popular veteran Juan Carlos Ferrero will also take to the court.

    Ernests Gulbis vs. Gorka Fraile

    Spaniard Gorka Fraile is ranked 930 in the world, far behind opponent Ernests Gulbis, who sits at No. 78. But Fraile came up through qualifying, which could be a benefit, as Gulbis comes into Umag from the grass courts of Wimbledon.

    Gulbis had an impressive win over Tomas Berdych in the first round of Wimbledon, but he promptly lost in the second round. The Latvian will take another stab at clay before moving onto North American hard courts.

    Gulbis should play well enough to get past the inexperienced Fraile, but the Spaniard could put up a bit of a fight along the way.

    Juan Carlos Ferrero (6) vs. Mate Pavic (WC)

    No. 6 seed Juan Carlos Ferrero will begin his Umag campaign against a Croatian wild card, world No. 547 Mate Pavic.

    Ferrero hasn't had a great season and he’ll face a significant rankings drop if he fails to go far, as he won the event in Stuttgart last year during this week. The Spaniard's best showing of the season was a third-round appearance at the Rome Masters.

    Fortunately for Ferrero, Pavic is a Futures level player and shouldn't give the veteran much trouble.

    Prediction – Ferrero through in straight sets.

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