• Karlovic battles Bolelli, Istomin takes on Rosol

    10/16/12 7:21 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Karlovic battles Bolelli, Istomin takes on Rosol Ivo Karlovic and Simone Bolelli will contest a tough first-rounder on Wednesday in Moscow. Denis Istomin and Lukas Rosol, meanwhile, are looking for a place in the quarterfinals.

    Simone Bolelli vs. Ivo Karlovic

    Bolelli and Karlovic will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers when they meet in round one of the Kremlin Cup on Wednesday afternoon. Their only previous encounter came in a 2008 hard-court Davis Cup match, with Bolelli prevailing 7-6(7), 6-3, 6-4. Four seasons later, Karlovic is slowing down just a bit at 33 years old. The 6'10'' Croat has been dealing with injuries and he registers at No. 130 in the world.

    Nor have things gone well for Bolelli, who has mostly been relegated to the Challenger circuit. Bolelli is inside the Top 100 at 79th in the rankings thanks to lower-level success, but he is just 8-10 on the ATP Tour in 2012. The Italian has lost three of his last four matches, with the lone win coming via retirement. Look for Karlovic to advance in three sets, which will likely include at least two tiebreakers.

    (6) Denis Istomin vs. Lukas Rosol

    Istomin and Rosol will also be squaring off for the second time in their careers on Wednesday. They faced each other two years ago on the clay courts of Hamburg, where Istomin mounted a comeback to win 3-6, 6-4, 6-3. The 43rd-ranked Uzbek has been a mediocre form of late. He overcame Bjorn Phau 5-7, 7-5, 6-1 on Monday to even his 2012 ATP record at 30-30.

    Rosol has failed to build on his Wimbledon upset of Rafael Nadal, to say the least. The 88th-ranked Czech is struggling even at the Challenger level, but he at least managed to pick up an ATP victory in his Moscow opener. In a match that featured zero service breaks, Rosol got past Daniel Gimeno-Traver 7-6(9), 7-6(2). Istomin in three sets is the pick.

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
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