• Gulbis, Bolelli take the court in Kitzbuhel

    7/24/12 12:36 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Gulbis, Bolelli take the court in Kitzbuhel Ernests Gulbis and Simone Bolelli will contest their Kitzbuhel openers on Tuesday. They are set for respective meetings with Andreas Haider-Maurer and Horacio Zeballos.

    (WC) Andreas Haider-Maurer vs. (7) Ernests Gulbis

    Haider-Maurer and Gulbis will be going head-to-head for the first time in their careers when they do battle in round one of the bet-at-home Cup on Tuesday afternoon. They do have somewhat of a connection on the ATP Tour, however. At the 2010 indoor hard-court event in Vienna, Gulbis withdrew from the main draw and that allowed Haider-Maurer to get in as a lucky loser. It improbably resulted in the only ATP final of the Austrian's career to date.

    Gulbis is a dismal 10-14 for his 2012 campaign, but he is at least managing to win some matches of late. The 67th-ranked Latvian has advanced one round or more in his last three events, which includes a quarterfinal showing last week in Gstaad. Haider-Maurer has spent most of his time at the Challenger level this season. In his last three lower-level tournaments he has two runner-ups and a semifinal. Don't be surprised if a confident world No. 149 pulls off the upset.

    Horacio Zeballos vs. Simone Bolelli

    Separated by just two spots in the rankings at No. 109 and No. 111, respectively, Zeballos and Bolelli will also be squaring off for the first time in their careers on Tuesday in Kitzbuhel. Zeballos was once ranked high as 41st in the world, but the Argentine is struggling to the tune of a disappointing 3-6 ATP record in 2012.

    Bolelli is a similarly bad 4-8. However, the Italian qualified at Wimbledon, won a round in Bastad, and is coming off a Challenger title last week in Recanati, Italy. Based on current form, Bolelli in two competitive sets is the pick.

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