• Haase, Soeda in action on opening day in Chennai

    12/31/12 1:44 AM | Cheryl Murray
    Haase, Soeda in action on opening day in Chennai Robin Haase (6) and Go Soeda (8) will kick off the 2013 tennis season with the two men taking the court on New Year's Eve at the Aircel Chennai Open.

    Robin Haase (6) vs. Yuki Bhambri (WC)

    This shouldn't be an overly taxing match for No. 6 seed Robin Haase. The Dutchman will play his first match after the brief off-season against world No. 217 Yuki Bhambri. The Indian, who received a wild card into this week's event, is still a Challenger-level player. He had some limited success at a few events last season and he managed to win a match in Chennai last year against Karol Beck.

    Haase will be the strong favorite in this match. He won a title last season in Kitzbuhel, but he had a horrific end to the season, with seven straight matches lost.

    Prediction - Haase in straight sets.

    Go Soeda (8) vs. Evgeny Donskoy

    Japan's Go Soeda just managed to snag a seed this week. The world No. 60 is ranked just 21 spots ahead of Russian opponent Evgeny Donskoy. The Russian enjoyed good success on the Challenger circuit last year, with five titles that boosted his ranking up to No. 81 in the world. He was 0-4 in main tour matches, however.

    Soeda did not have a great end to the 2012 season. The Japanese man won two matches last fall and failed to get beyond the first round of qualifying at the Paris Masters.

    Prediction - Soeda in 3.

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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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