• Lopez, Gulbis in Gstaad quarterfinal action

    7/20/12 7:08 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Lopez, Gulbis in Gstaad quarterfinal action Feliciano Lopez and Ernests Gulbis are looking for spots in the Gstaad semifinals on Friday. They will go up against Thomaz Bellucci and Paul-Henri Mathieu, respectively.

    (5) Feliciano Lopez vs. Thomaz Bellucci

    Lopez and Bellucci will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers at the ATP level when they do battle in the Suisse Open quarterfinals on Friday. They previously faced each other three years ago on the clay courts of the Rome Masters, where Lopez cruised 6-4, 6-2. The 30-year-old Spaniard, though, is just 14-16 this season. So far in Gstaad he has taken out both Adrian Ungur and Jan Hajek in three sets.

    Bellucci has always done his best work on clay and he continues to do so in 2012. The 60th-ranked Brazilian has a Challenger title and a semifinal in Stuttgart already this month. Now he finds himself in the Gstaad quarterfinals thanks to victories over Blaz Kavcic and No. 4 seed Mikhail Youzhny. Expect a three-setter, with a slight edge going to Bellucci.

    Paul-Henri Mathieu vs. Ernests Gulbis

    Mathieu and Gulbis will also be meeting for the second time in their careers on Friday. Their only previous encounter came three years ago in Brisbane, where Mathieu rolled 6-3, 6-4. The 30-year-old Frenchman has been plagued by injuries of late, but he is finally heating up. Mathieu reached the Roland Garros third round and so far this week he has dismissed Igor Andreev and No. 3 seed Stanislas Wawrinka.

    Gulbis has been mostly terrible in 2012, to the extent that this is just his second quarterfinal and the second time he has won more than a single match at a tournament. The 72nd-ranked Latvian's record has improved to 10-13 following wins at the expense of Filippo Volandri and Benoit Paire, both in three sets. Mathieu in three sets is the pick.

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