• Seppi opens at Kremlin Cup against Sijsling

    10/18/12 2:21 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Seppi opens at Kremlin Cup against Sijsling Andreas Seppi will contest his Moscow opener on Thursday against Igor Sijsling. Alex Bogomolov and Ivo Karlovic are also squaring off in the second round.

    Igor Sijsling vs. (2) Andreas Seppi

    Seppi's two career ATP titles have come at 250-point events with woeful draws. A golden opportunity to win a third begins for him at the Kremlin Cup on Thursday. Seppi is in the midst of his best season on tour, during which he has compiled a 33-25 record that has him one spot off his career-high ranking at No. 25 in the world. The Italian, who earned a first-round bye as the No. 2 seed, is coming off a second-round loss to Tomas Berdych in Shanghai.

    Up first for Seppi is Sijsling, whom he has never faced. Sijsling kicked off his week with a 7-6(7), 6-3 victory over Michael Berrer on Tuesday. The 77th-ranked Dutchman owns seven of his 12 career ATP match wins this year. This is not the easiest opener for Seppi by any means, but he should be able to get the job done in three sets.

    Ivo Karlovic vs. Alex Bogomolov

    Karlovic and Bogomolov will be going head-to-head for the first time in eight years when they clash in the Moscow second round on Thursday. They faced each other twice on hard courts in 2004; Karlovic triumphed 7-6(3), 6-3 in the final of the Calabasas Challenger and Bogomolov prevailed 6-4, 7-6(6) at the Toronto Masters.

    Both players appear to be slowing down in the latter stages of their careers. Karlovic is down at No. 130 in the world (though mostly due to injury), but he defeated Simone Bolelli in straight sets on Wednesday. Bogomolov broke out last season only to struggle mightily in 2012. The 96th-ranked Russian is 14-29 for the season after ousting Nikolay Davydenko 7-5, 6-4 on Tuesday. Karlovic in three sets is the pick.

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