Seeds take the court for the first time in the tournament on Tuesday at the Legg Mason Tennis Classic, Washington’s ATP event which is held annually just off 16th St NW on the edge of Rock Creek Park.
There are fourteen matches on the slate, spread over four courts. Here are the five you should be keeping an eye on:
15. Mardy Fish (USA) vs Viktor Troicki (SRB) — Mardy Fish is riding a ten-match winning streak coming into DC, having won back to back titles on the grass of Newport, R.I., and the hard courts of Atlanta. He has lost an incredible amount of weight very quickly, and is probably playing the best tennis of his career, with recent victories coming against Andy Roddick and John Isner. Troicki has played Washington twice before, with a mix of huge success and disappointment. In 2008, he made his first career ATP final here, beating Andy Roddick in the quarters but losing to Juan Martin del Potro on the final Sunday. In 2009, he had to stop his first round match due to injury. It will be interesting to see what kind of magic he can conjur stepping back onto that stadium court.
[Q] Grega Zemlja (SLO) vs 2. Andy Roddick (USA) — Andy Roddick’s US Open preparation begins in earnest tonight against tricky Slovenian qualifier Grega Zemlja, who rolled through qualifying and is quickly on his way into the top 100. But moreso than at any other tournament, this is Roddick’s house. His serve should pull him through in straight sets.
Thiemo de Bakker (NED) vs 5. John Isner (USA) — After Isner’s marathon first round match against Nicolas Mahut, he faced a considerably more rested de Bakker, who took him out in incredibly quick straight sets. Isner should be able to get revenge for that beatdown under the lights tonight.
Denis Istomin (UZB) vs 4. Marin Cilic (CRO) — Cilic has really fallen off since a breakout performance in the Australian Open. Istomin has been playing pretty solid ball lately, putting Uzbek tennis on the map. Upset alert.
Arnaud Clement (FRA) vs Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) — Pretty amazing that these two fairly big names are playing on the tournament’s smallest court. If you want a chance to see top-class tennis closer than you’ve ever seen it before, go check this one out.