• Wawrinka opens in Oeiras, Robredo takes on Haase

    5/1/13 7:01 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Wawrinka opens in Oeiras, Robredo takes on Haase Stanislas Wawrinka will kick off his Oeiras campaign on Thursday against Albert Ramos. Tommy Robredo and Robin Haase are also looking for a spot in the quarterfinals.

    Albert Ramos vs. (2) Stanislas Wawrinka

    Ramos and Wawrinka will be going head-to-head for the fourth time in their careers when they clash in round two of the Portugal Open on Thursday. Wawrinka has won all three of their previous encounters, including two on clay. He prevailed 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 last season in Acapulco and 7-6(4), 6-4 earlier this year in Buenos Aires in addition to a 7-6(1), 7-6(5) victory at the 2012 Shanghai Masters.

    Wawrinka has been solid in 2013, but he is looking to take a next step that he has been very close to taking at times and he is now looking to do it with new coach Magnus Norman. The 16th-ranked Swiss is 16-8 for the season after a quarterfinal showing in Monte-Carlo. Ramos improved to 15-11 for the year after getting past Carlos Berlocq 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-3 on Tuesday. The 57th-ranked Spaniard was a fourth-round finisher in Miami and a quarterfinalist last week in Barcelona. This should be one of the best matches of the tournament, with a slight edge going to Wawrinka in three sets.

    (Q) Robin Haase vs. (8) Tommy Robredo

    Haase and Robredo will be squaring off for the third time in their careers but for the first time in more than three years when they meet on Sunday. Robredo leads the head-to-head series 2-0; he won a 2008 clay-court encounter 6-2, 6-4 in Barcelona before scoring a 7-6(4), 6-4 victory on the indoor hard courts of Rotterdam in 2010.

    The 31-year-old Spaniard is back in business this season following an injury-plagued 2012. He boasts a 15-9 ATP-level record, which has him up to No. 38 in the world. The champion in Casablanca and a quarterfinalist in Barcelona, Robredo overcame Daniel Gimeno-Traver 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 on Tuesday. Haase qualified for the Oeiras main draw then beat Pablo Andujar 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 in round one. The 74th-ranked Dutchman is a modest 8-11 for the season. Robredo has to be fatigued, but clay clearly favors him in this matchup so he should advance in three sets.

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