• Mayer meets Garcia-Lopez at BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy

    4/27/13 5:01 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Mayer meets Garcia-Lopez at BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy Florian Mayer and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez are set for a relatively surprising Bucharest semifinal on Saturday. The winner will face either Gilles Simon or Lukas Rosol for the title.

    Florian Mayer and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez will be squaring off for the second time in their careers at the ATP level and for the third time overall when they clash in the semifinals or the BRD Nastase Tiriac Trophy on Saturday. Mayer has won both of their previous encounters; 6-3, 6-2 at the 2006 hard-court Sunrise Challenger and 6-3, 6-1 three years ago on the clay courts Stuttgart.

    Garcia-Lopez has been rounding into form out of just about nowhere this month. The 87th-ranked Spaniard lost five matches in a row from the Australian Open through all of February before not playing again until April. Suddenly, however, he reached the Casablanca quarters and finished runner-up at a Challenger event in Rome. So far this week Garcia-Lopez has ousted Horacio Zeballos, Sergiy Stakhovsky, and Janko Tipsarevic--all in three sets.

    Mayer is showing similar signs of heating up time for the French Open. The 29th-ranked German was 6-9 for the season prior to his arrival in Bucharest, but he has scored wins over Flavio Cipolla, David Goffin, and Victor Hanescu--losing just a single set to Goffin in the process.

    Both Garcia-Lopez and Mayer are all-court players who are quite capable on the slow stuff, so surface should not be too much of a factor in this one. Mayer, who captured the 2011 Bucharest title, has to feel comfortable at this event and against an opponent whom he has dominated in the past. Look for the fifth seed to prevail in two tight sets.

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