• Paire battles Robredo, Anderson up against Zemlja

    4/12/13 12:38 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Paire battles Robredo, Anderson up against Zemlja Benoit Paire and Kevin Anderson are bidding for spots in the Casablanca semifinals on Friday. They are set for respective meetings with Tommy Robredo and Grega Zemlja.

    (4) Benoit Paire vs. Tommy Robredo

    Paire and Robredo will be going head-to-head for the first time in their careers when they collide in the quarterfinals of the Grand Prix Hassan II on Friday. Robredo has played sparingly in the latter stages of his career at 30 years old due to physical problems, but he clearly isn't done just yet. The Spaniard is back up to No. 72 in the world and he has won seven ATP-level matches this season following straight-set victories in Casablanca over Guillaume Rufin and Tobias Kamke.

    After earning a first-round bye as the No. 4 seed, Paire trailed Aljaz Bedene by a set and a break but recovered to prevail 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 on Wednesday. The 33rd-ranked Frenchman is a decent 10-9 for the year. Paire owns the biggest weapon in this match with his two-handed backhand, but he would rather be playing Robredo on a fast hard court. Don't be surprised if the clay court helps the veteran score an upset victory in three sets.

    (8) Grega Zemlja vs. (2) Kevin Anderson

    Zemlja and Anderson are also squaring off for the first time at the ATP level when they clash on Friday in Casablanca. They have, however, faced each other once in Challengers; Zemlja scored a 6-4, 6-4 win three years ago on the hard courts of Honolulu. Anderson, though, is playing the best tennis of his career right now. The 6'8'' South African is up to No. 29 in the world and he is 15-5 for the season after ending Pablo Carreno-Busta's 39-match winning streak on Thursday.

    Similarly, Zemlja owns six of his 37 ATP match wins already this year and he registers five spots off his career-best ranking at No. 55 in the world. The Slovenian survived Matthias Bachinger in a third-set tiebreaker then took care of Henri Laaksonen 7-6(5), 6-1 on Thursday. Anderson should not have too much trouble getting the job done in straight sets.

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