• Hewitt takes on Istomin, Dolgopolov meets Williams

    2/21/13 7:41 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Hewitt takes on Istomin, Dolgopolov meets Williams Lleyton Hewitt and Denis Istomin will battle for a quarterfinal spot on Thursday in Memphis. Alexandr Dolgopolov and Rhyne Williams are also in action.

    Lleyton Hewitt vs. Denis Istomin

    Istomin and Hewitt will be squaring off for the fourth time in their careers and for the second time this season when they clash on Thursday in Memphis. Hewitt leads the head-to-head series 2-1, but Istomin prevailed 7-5, 7-5 last month in Brisbane. The Aussie's two victories came at the 2008 Australian Open and in a five-setter at Roland Garros in 2010.

    Both players are in decent form to begin their 2013 campaigns. Hewitt is no longer the player he once was, but the world No. 107 is 4-3 for the year after outlasting Yen-Hsun Lu 2-6, 7-6(3), 6-4 in round one. Istomin, already seeking his fourth quarterfinal of the season, opened on Tuesday night with a 6-4, 6-3 upset of third-seeded John Isner. In a matchup between the Uzbek's offense against the veteran's counter-punching, Istomin should have a slight edge on an indoor hard court.

    (Q) Rhyne williams vs. (7) Alexandr Dolgopolov

    williams will look to continue his hot streak when he takes the court on Thursday in Memphis. The former University of Tennessee star has won eight matches in a row--five to win the Dallas Challenger, two more in Memphis qualifying, and another when he ousted Steve Johnson 7-6(4), 6-4 on Monday. It was the first career ATP-level victory for williams, who is up to No. 159 in the world and climbing.

    Dolgopolov, however, will be a significant step up in competition. The talented Ukrainian comes in at No. 23 in the world, good for the No. 7 seed this week. He is a modest 4-2 for his 2013 campaign after taking care of Bjorn Phau in straight sets on Thursday. Dolgopolov isn't exactly on fire, but he should be able to hold off williams in three sets.

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