• Isner, Baghdatis begin in 's-Hertogenbosch

    6/16/13 10:20 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Isner, Baghdatis begin in 's-Hertogenbosch John Isner will kick off his 's-Hertogenbosch campaign on Monday against Evgeny Donskoy. Marcos Baghdatis and Carlos Berlocq are also in action.

    (3) John Isner vs. Evgeny Donskoy

    Isner and Donskoy will be going head-to-head for the first time in their careers when they clash in round one of the Topshelf Open on Monday. Donskoy could really use a big win heading into Wimbledon because he is just 6-12 at the ATP level this season. Still, the Russian registers at 73rd in the world as of Sunday--just five spots off his career-high ranking. He advanced one round at the French Open last month before falling to Kevin Anderson.

    Grass has never been Isner's best surface even though he did play one of the most famous matches in tennis history on the surface. The 6'9'' American is making his grass-court debut in 2013 after a third-round performance at Roland Garros, where he lost to Tommy Haas 10-8 in the fifth set after saving 12 match points in the fourth. Isner is a modest 15-13 for the year, but he has been improving since a disastrous start. Unless the No. 3 seed serves poorly, he should cruise in straight sets.

    Carlos Berlocq vs. (6) Marcos Baghdatis

    Berlocq and Baghdatis will be squaring off for the third time in their careers (second at the ATP level) on Monday. Baghdatis has won both of their previous encounters; 6-4, 6-4 at a hard-court Futures event in 2004 and 6-4, 6-3 last summer at the Toronto Masters.

    Both competitors need a win in the worst way. Berlocq is at his best on clay, but he won only two main-draw matches throughout the entire clay-court swing. The 30-year-old Argentine is coming off a blowout 6-3, 6-1 loss to Philipp Kohlschreiber in his Halle opener. Baghdatis has lot his opening match in a hard-to-believe nine consecutive tournaments. Nonetheless, the 40th-ranked Cypriot has always been a solid grass-courter and he at least took a set off Ernests Gulbis in Halle. Based on the surface, Baghdatis in straight sets is the pick.

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