ATP San Jose 2013 Draw Preview and Analysis

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For full draw, please click here: ATP San Jose 2013 Draw

One of two indoor hard court tournaments this week, the SAP Open in San Jose is one of the oldest tournaments in the United States. Two times defending champion Milos Raonic heads the field for the ATP 250 event while John Isner and Sam Querrey hold the best hope for the home fans as second and third seeds respectively.

It was this tournament in 2011 that began Raonic’s steady rise up the rankings, the Canadian defeating Fernando Verdasco in two tie break sets. The draw has been kind to him and it would be a major surprise were he troubled before the semi finals, where he would be slated to play Sam Querrey. Potential opening opponent Michael Russell has been consistently making quarter finals on the North America challengers but this will be a step too far for the veteran, presuming he can make it past a qualifier that could include Donald Young, Alex Bogomolov or Tim Smyczek. Ryan Harrison twice defeated Benjamin Becker last year without losing a set (the first match 6-4 3-0 ret.) and can earn a shot at last year’s losing finalist Denis Istomin if he makes it three in a row. The Uzbek defeated Andy Roddick and Julien Benneteau on his way to the final last year, having his best tournament of the year here. He will be hoping for revenge on Raonic in the quarter finals should the seedings go to plan.

Sam Querrey will be hoping that Lleyton Hewitt is not third time lucky when the Australian takes on Blaz Kavcic in round one. The Slovenian is fresh off a surprise quarter final run in Zagreb and has already beaten Hewitt twice since 2011. Querrey is yet to defeat Hewitt in two meetings but dropped just three games when he faced off against Kavcic in 2010. The run to the quarter finals otherwise looks fairly straight forward, Alejandro Falla has lost to Querrey in their last two meetings while Flavio Cipolla has only one win to his name so far this year – due to a retirement at 1-1 from Lukas Lacko in Zagreb. Wildcard Jack Sock is still yet to make much of an impact while Marinko Matosevic has disappointed since he became Australian No.1 and has since lost it having lost all three main draw matches on the year.

With a section including a qualifier and two American wildcards, Fernando Verdasco should be fairly confident navigating his way through the first few rounds. He opens against the qualifier and then either Ivo Karlovic or Steve Johnson await in round two. Karlovic took advantage of a disappointing Grigor Dimitrov performance in Zagreb but would have to rely on a similarly disappointing performance from Verdasco were he to make it past the American wildcard Johnson. Jesse Levine faces Bradley Klahn for the second week running after a three set win over the wildcard in Dallas last week with the winner taking on Tommy Haas. Haas hasn’t played since his disappointing five set exit in the opening round of the Australian Open but it is a nice draw to get him back into the swing of things – he has a 3-0 record over Levine including last year in straight sets in Vienna.

Since breaking the top 10 in March last year for a small amount of time, John Isner has failed to really push on. The story of his 2012 late was heartbreaking five set defeats in slams and Davis Cup alike and it continued this year when Thomaz Bellucci continued that trend by coming out on top against the American in five sets in Brazil’s 2-3 defeat against the US. His best tournaments have always came in the US with 10 of the 12 finals he has made being in his home country but his best showing here is only a quarter final. Given his lack of match practice, some will fancy their chances against him with potential second round opponent Vasek Pospisil already possessing an indoor win over Isner. However the Canadian isn’t in the best form recently, losing his last five matches and could well be dumped out of the tournament by the promising Russian Evgeny Donskoy. Donskoy broke out at the Australian Open, defeating fellow Russian Mikhail Youzhny in a shock five set victory. Matthew Ebden takes on a qualifier while Xavier Malisse takes on Go Soeda. Soeda will be in a confident mood and fancy his chances to take his record to 2-0 over the Belgian, having won the Maui challenger last month without dropping a set.

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