Quarterfinal Preview

July 15, 2011 07:57 PM
By Jeff Watson/ ATC
Eight are narrowed down to four on day five of the 2011 Atlanta Tennis Championships as Friday will see the completion of the quarterfinals.
John Isner, the 6’9" American, who played college tennis at the University of Georgia, will take on Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei, who is best known for upsetting Andy Roddick in the 2010 Wimbledon Championships. Both of these players are coming off tough three-set matches, Lu overcoming the qualifier Marinko Matosevic and Isner fighting off his compatriot James Blake with 30 aces in just under three hours. The American is the defending finalist here and will feed off the energy of his hometown crowd, but Lu is playing great tennis and is always a threat no matter the opponent.
The lefty from Luxembourg, Gilles Muller, has hit 32 aces in two matches over Americans Alex Bogomolov, Jr. and Robby Ginepri to set up a quarterfinal clash with 6’8" South African Kevin Anderson. Both of these players have been playing amazing tennis in Atlanta this year, capitalizing on the heat and high-bouncing surface to hit their opponents off the court. They met once before in Newport in 2008, with Anderson taking the match in three tough sets. He is now looking to defend his spot in the semifinals as the No. 2 seed, but Muller will not go down without a fight.
Two-time NCAA Division I singles champion Somdev Devvarman of India made quick work of Tatsuma Ito despite more than a two-and-a-half-hour rain delay. He now faces No. 1 seed and defending champion Mardy Fish. Fish has dominated their previous two meetings, dropping only seven games. Devvarman, however, recently hit a career high ranking of No. 63 and looking to move up with a win over the world No. 9 player.
In a stunning upset, American qualifier Rajeev Ram took out former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt to set up a star-spangled battle with compatriot Ryan Harrison. Harrison, the 19-year-old originally from Shreveport, La., was on court for two hours in a three-set win over No. 4 seed Xavier Malisse, but the match was interrupted by a two-hour rain delay. Ram and Harrison have never played each other, so the first time will be for a spot in the semifinals.
The featured doubles match pits Germans Matthias Bachinger and Frank Moser against the duo of Georgian collegiate players Drake Bernstein and Kevin King. Bernstein, from the University of Georgia, and King, from Georgia Tech, made headlines Wednesday night by taking out the No. 1 seed and defending champions Lipsky and Ram. Bernstein and King are wild cards making their debut on one of the biggest stages in tennis.