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Men's Look Forward: Houston, Casablanca

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April 9, 2012



Tennis News Wire -

Men's Look Forward: Houston, Casablanca

They may have to set up a charter flight from France to
Houston. It appears the U. S. Davis Cup team is coming
en masse. En more than masse, in fact, since Houston not
only features John Isner and Ryan Harrison but also
Mardy Fish, who was unable to play because of fatigue.
He's supposed to be the #1 seed. Fortunately, he has a

Isner is the #2 seed, with Feliciano Lopez #3
(surprising to see him still in the U. S...instead of
preparing for Monte Carlo). Juan Monaco is the #4 seed
despite (or perhaps because of) not playing singles for
Argentina. He has the last bye. Kevin Anderson is #5,
Carlos Berlocq #6, Alex Bogomolov #7 (and opening
against Harrison, and Ivo Karlovic #8.

The Americans will have quite a few unseeded players to
root for besides Harrison. Sam Querrey could face
Anderson in round two. Berlocq opens against James
Blake. Karlovic starts against Bobby Reynolds, with
defending champion Ryan Sweeting to follow. The most
interesting unseeded player, though, may be Wayne
Odesnik, who seems to have some sort of irresistible
attraction to this place; he might face Lopez in round

The week's other event, Casablanca, is also a 28-draw,
although with less reason to give the top seeds byes; it
has no Top Fifteen players. Florian Mayer is the #1
seed, with Alexandr Dolgopolov #2. Defending champion
Pablo Andujar is #3, and Denis Istomin's strong 2012
earned him the #4 spot. Donald Young is #5, Robin Haase
#6, Albert Ramos #7, and Fabio Fognini #8. That's a very
weak field, but there are still some pretty tough
unseeded players -- notably Albert Montanes, who hasn't
been seen much lately but who could face Istomin in the
second round. Also, Paul-Henri Mathieu could take on
Fognini in round two.

The Rankings

This is a week of schedule shift. Monte Carlo comes off;
some 250s come on. Complicated at best.... Rafael Nadal
won Monte Carlo, over David Ferrer; the semifinalists
were Andy Murray and Jurgen Melzer; Ivan Ljubicic,
Frederico Gil, Viktor Troicki, and Roger Federer were
quarterfinalists. Novak Djokovic did not play.

Which means no movement in the Top Four; it will remain
Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, and Murray, although Nadal's
margin will be razor-thin. But David Ferrer will lose
the #5 spot to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Tomas Berdych will
stay #7, but as usual lately, we could see some shifting
around from #8 to #11. We can't really predict that
until we know the Davis Cup results.

Melzer will likely end up around #40. Ljubicic is lucky
he already has entry into Monte Carlo; he wouldn't get
in based on his ranking next week. Troicki can forget
the Top Thirty. And it looks as if Gil will be well
below the Top Hundred.


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