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  • Malisse takes on Lu, Mahut meets Kuznetsov

    6/18/13 10:48 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Malisse takes on Lu, Mahut meets Kuznetsov Veterans Xavier Malisse and Nicolas Mahut will continue their 's-Hertogenbosch campaigns on Wednesday. Malisse is facing Yen-Hsun Lu while Mahut is going up against Andrey Kuznetsov.

    Xavier Malisse vs. Yen-Hsun Lu

    Lu and Malisse will be squaring off for the fourth time in their careers when they clash in the second round of the Topshelf Open on Wednesday. Malisse is dominating the head-to-head series 3-0, but they have never faced each other on grass. Their most recent encounter came last year on the clay courts of Nice, where Malisse prevailed 7-5, 6-4.

    Although Lu and Malisse are unseeded, this one should feature high-quality grass-court tennis. Chinese Taipei's top player is a former quarterfinalist at Wimbledon (2010) and he is coming off a solid 6-1, 7-6(3) victory over Edouard Roger-Vasselin in the 's-Hertogenbosch opening round. As for Malisse, he is a former Wimbledon semifinalist (2002) and he advanced advanced one round at Queen's Club before losing to Juan Martin Del Potro in three sets. The 32-year-old Belgian knocked out No. 1 seed David Ferrer 7-6(3), 6-3 on Tuesday. Malisse in three is the pick.

    (Q) Nicolas Mahut vs. Andrey Kuznetsov

    Mahut and Kuznetsov will be going head-to-head for the first time in their careers on Wednesday. Kuznetsov is generally at his best on the slow stuff, but he capitalized on a draw that pitted him against another clay-courter and he got the best of Daniel Gimeno-Traver 7-6(4), 6-3 in round one. The 77th-ranked Russian is still a mere 6-13 at the ATP level this season.

    Nine years older than his opponent at 31, Mahut appears to be rounding into form after an extended slump. The world No. 240 finished runner-up at the Roland Garros doubles event with Michael Llodra and he won a main-draw singles match at Queen's Club before succumbing to eventual champion Andy Murray 6-3, 7-6(4). Mahut qualified for the Topshelf Open then rolled over Ricardas Berankis 6-1, 6-4 on Tuesday. The Frenchman should have a huge edge on grass, so look for him to advance in straight sets.

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