• Berankis, Mahut clash again at Citi Open

    7/31/12 5:28 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Berankis, Mahut clash again at Citi Open Ricardas Berankis and Nicolas Mahut will be facing each other for the second time in two weeks on Tuesday in Washington. Veterans Tommy Haas and Michael Russell are also in action.

    Nicolas Mahut vs. (WC) Ricardas Berankis

    Mahut and Berankis will be squaring off for the third time in their careers at the ATP level and for the second time in the last two weeks when they collide during first-round action at the Citi Open on Tuesday evening. The head-to-head series is tied up at two wins apiece; Mahut prevailed 7-6(5), 6-2 last year in Atlanta but Berankis got revenge with a 6-4, 6-4 victory just a few days ago in the Los Angeles quarterfinals.

    Berankis, finally healthy and able to play close to his best tennis, went all the way to the L.A. final and he is now on the brink of the Top 100 at No. 103 in the world. Mahut is having a career resurgence at 30 years old. Fifteen match wins for the season have him up to No. 62 in the rankings. Berankis may be the favorite but he got blown out by Sam Querrey on Sunday and he has to be tired, so Mahut in three sets is the pick.

    (4) Tommy Haas vs. (Q) Michael Russell

    Two of the oldest players on tour will be squaring off when Haas and Russell do battle on Tuesday. Both 34-year-olds, however, are in solid form. Haas is a stellar 19-9 for his 2012 campaign and he is in position for U.S. Open seeding at No. 36 in the world. The German recently finished runner-up on the clay courts of Hamburg to Juan Monaco.

    Russell is a respectable 11-9 at the ATP level after consecutive quarterfinals in Atlanta (upset Kevin Anderson) and L.A. (ousted No. 1 seed Benoit Paire). The American has already kept up the hot streak by qualifying for the main draw in Washington. Expect a high-quality encounter with an edge going to Haas in two competitive sets.

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