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  • Harrison, Blake clash in Atlanta opening round

    7/17/12 9:19 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Harrison, Blake clash in Atlanta opening round An All-American first-round matchup is set for Tuesday in Atlanta, where Ryan Harrison is going up against James Blake. Dmitry Tursunov and Ricardas Berankis are also in action.


    (6) Ryan Harrison vs. James Blake

    Harrison and Blake will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers when they do battle in round one of the BB&T Atlanta Open on Tuesday. Their only previous encounter came four years ago in Houston, where Blake cruised 6-3, 6-2 after Harrison had won his first ATP-level match a round earlier as a 15-year-old.

    Now 20, Harrison has climbed to a career-high ranking of No. 43 in the world. He has earned 21 of his 40 career ATP match wins this season and he is coming off a semifinal appearance in Newport. Blake, 32, had a decent stretch last summer but he is toiling down at No. 110 in the rankings thanks to a horrendous 0-6 ATP record in 2012. Based on current form, Harrison in straight sets is the pick.

    (Q) Ricardas Berankis vs. Dmitry Tursunov

    Injuries have wrecked both Berankis and Tursunov as they head into their first career meeting on Tuesday. Tursunov is down at No. 136 in the world and he is a mere 1-8 at the ATP level this season. The Russian is coming off successive opening-round losses at Queen's Club, 's-Hertogenbosch, and Wimbledon.

    Berankis is struggling at 147th in the rankings having previously registered at a career-high of No. 73 in February of last year. The 22-year-old Lithuanian is set to contest his first ATP-level match of the season after qualifying for the main draw. He battled back to beat Rik De Voest 7-6(4), 6-7(5), 6-3 in the qualies final round on Monday. Because of Tursunov's woes, look for a confident Berankis to score a minor upset in three sets.

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