• Djokovic opens in Cincinnati vs. familiar foe Seppi

    8/15/12 4:07 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Djokovic opens in Cincinnati vs. familiar foe Seppi Novak Djokovic will kick off his Cincinnati campaign on Wednesday. Standing in his way of a place in the third round is Andreas Seppi.

    Novak Djokovic and Andreas Seppi will be going head-to-head for the ninth time in their careers and for the third time this season when they clash in round two of the Western & Southern Open on Wednesday afternoon.

    Djokovic has won all eight of their previous encounters, including four on hard courts. The Serb prevailed 6-1, 6-4 earlier this season on the clay courts of Monte-Carlo then mounted a charge from two sets down to overcome Seppi 4-6, 6-7(5), 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 in the fourth round of the French Open.

    Although Djokovic has dominated their past history, the recent scoreline suggests Seppi is no pushover--and he isn't. The Italian is up to No. 27 in the world with a 25-20 record for the year. Seppi, a recent finalist in Eastbourne, lost his opener in Toronto last week but he ousted Robin Haase 6-4, 6-4 on Monday.

    Djokovic is coming off a long week in Toronto, where he survived the opposition and all kinds of rain delays to capture the title. The world No. 2, who is 50-9 for his 2012 campaign after downing Richard Gasquet on Sunday, will have had two full days off heading into this encounter.

    "There is (a) certain difference between conditions in Toronto and Cincinnati," Djokovic noted. "The courts are a little bit faster here. But I still think it's enough [rest] for me. I've had this situation before."

    This all comes down to how the three-time Cincinnati runner-up is feeling. As long as he is close to 100 percent, a straight-set victory--with at least one set being competitive--can be expected.

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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