Klizan’s killer pace leaves Troicki for dead

2013 AEGON International, Feliciano LOPEZ, Jarkko NIEMINEN, Martin KLIZAN, News, Players, Radek STEPANEK, Viktor TROICKI

By Xavier Harley-Rudd

Martin KlizanMartin Klizan had no difficulty in overpowering left-hander Viktor Troicki on Court 3 with a straightforward 6-3 6-2 victory.

Left-hander Klizan, ranked nine places higher than the Serbian no3 in the rankings at world no35, was superior in every department.

His thunderous shots kept Troicki at bay and scampering from corner to corner along the baseline in vain attempts to get the ball back.

Klizan’s flat shots left the ball low to leave Troicki, who won their only previous encounter – last year’s Wimbledon – in a ding-dong five set thriller, chasing the game and unable to carve his way back after his serve was broken.

Feliciano Lopez relied on thundering down 16 aces to book a 2nd Round berth at the expense of tricky Jarkko Nieminen of Finland 7-6 7-6.

The Spaniard had to be on top of his game and never surrender to register a 7-3 success in the first tiebreak and polish off the left-hander with a 7-5 second tiebreak win on Court 1.

Radek Stephanek made short work of dispatching Australian world no39 Marinko Matosevic in straight sets on Court 3.

The veteran Czech ace was expected to be given the runaround by his tenacious nicknamed “Mad Dog”, but Matosevic simply had no bite to lose 6-3 6-2.

 

Simon snatches top billing

2013 AEGON International, Alexandr DOLGOPOLOV, Andreas Seppi, Bernard TOMIC, Denis Istomin, Fabio FOGNINI, Feliciano LOPEZ, Fernando VERDASCO, Gilles SIMON, Grega ZEMLJA, Ivan DODIG, Jarkko NIEMINEN, Juan MONACO, Julien BENNETEAU, Kevin ANDERSON, Martin KLIZAN, Philipp KOHLSCHREIBER, Players, Radek STEPANEK, Thomaz BELLUCCI, Viktor TROICKI

By Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd

2013 entrants and seeds

gilles simon top seed 2013Gilles Simon, the 28-year-old from Nice, is the top seed as the highest ranked of the trio from the world’s top 20 ATP players due compete at the 2103 AEGON International.

Simon, who reached the dizzy heights of world no6 is nicknamed “Gilou” with his most significant success over Rafael Nadal in Madrid five years ago.

Although British fans will probably remember the current world no17 bowing out to Olympic champion Andy Murray at the 2013 Australian Open.

German Phillip Kohlschreiber (world no18) missed out on being seeded no1 and has the perfect all round game that is suited to grass, so is the most probable champion.

Argentinian Juan Monaco (world no20) is the no3 seed but is a clay court expert so is likely to find the adjustment from a gruelling season on a slower surface difficult to adjust to.

In form Kevin Anderson has been given the no4 seeding and the 6 foot 8 inch South African star will be a force to be reckoned with courtesy of his thundering serve and game suited to fast surfaces.

Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov, a Devonshire Park regular, takes the no5 slot with former Eastbourne champion Andreas Seppi of Italy a dangerous opponent as no6 seed.

Seppi’s compatriot Fabio Fognini takes the no7 berth with French ace Julien Benneteau completing the eight seeds.

But the player that the seeds will be aiming to avoid will be Monaco-based Australian Bernard Tomic, who in 2011 became the first teenager since Boris Becker to reach the Men’s Singles semi-finals at Wimbledon.

Tomic stuttered out of the 2012 AEGON International in three sets to Fognini despite being the no4 seed and was booed off the Wimbledon courts following his destruction of the grass with his racquet after tasting defeat.

Czech Republic’s Radek Stepanek will be another difficult opponent, and if compatriot Tomas Berdych – a top 10 player – has a shortlived experience at Queen’s in London then he will listen to whether his coach Ivan Ljubicic wants him to warm-up Wimbledon as a Devonshire Park wildcard.

Thomaz Belluci has withdrawn from the tournament, which isn’t the first time that the Brazilian has opted to skip the event.

Men’s Provisional Seeds

Seed

Men

Nation

1

Gilles SIMON  France

2

Phillip KOHLSCHREIBER  Germany

3

Juan MONACO  Argentina

4

Kevin ANDERSON  South Africa

5

Alexandr DOLGOPOLOV  Ukraine

6

Andreas SEPPI  Italy

7

Fabio FOGNINI  Italy

8

Julien BENNETEAU  France

The entrants confirmed are:

  1. Gilles SIMON (France)
  2. Philipp KOHLSCHREIBER (Germany)
  3. Juan MONACO (Argentina)
  4. Kevin ANDERSON (South Africa)
  5. Alexandr DOLGOPOLOV (Ukraine)
  6. Andreas SEPPI (Italy)
  7. Fabio FOGNINI (Italy)
  8. Julien BENNETEAU (France)
  9. Martin KLIZAN (Slovakia)
  10. Jarkko NIEMINEN (Finland)
  11. Viktor TROICKI (Serbia)
  12. Feliciano LOPEZ (Spain)
  13. Denis ISTOMIN (Uzbekistan)
  14. Radek STEPANEK (Czech Republic)
  15. Ivan DODIG (Croatia)
  16. Grega ZEMLJA (Slovenia)
  17. Bernard TOMIC (Australia)
  18. Fernando VERDASCO (Spain)

JARKKO NIEMINEN

2013 AEGON International, Jarkko NIEMINEN
Nieminen, JarkkoNieminen, Jarkko

 
Birthplace:
Masku, Finland
Residence
Masku, Finland
Height
6’1″ (185 cm)
Weight
172 lbs (78 kg)
Plays
Left-handed
Turned Pro
2000
Jarkko Nieminen was born in Masku, Finland on the 23rd of July, 1981. He started playing at four years old and in 1999 won the Junior US Open. That same year he made his debut in the Davis Cup against Italy and in 2001 became the first Finn to make the Top 100 since Veli Paloheimo (1991) as well as reaching the final at Stockholm in what was his second ATP tournament.

Two years later, Nieminen was a finalist in Munich and took part in the Roland Garros, reaching the fourth round there. His most successful campaign came in 2006 when he finished up in the Top 20 for the first time after winning 55 matches and bagging his first title on the professional circuit, defeating Mario Ancic in Auckland.

His most significant achievement in 2007 was reaching his seventh ATP final in Basilea and being included among the Top 30 players of the season. In 2009, Nieminen finished up amongst the 100 best players for the ninth consecutive year but went off the radar for over three months due to a wrist injury.

The following year, however, he managed to maintain his place in the Top 100. Over the course of his career he has reached the quarter-finals of three Grand Slam tournaments – the US Open (2005), Wimbledon (2006) and the Australian Open (2008).

His 2012 got off to a fantastic start when he won his second ATP singles tournament, in Sydney, Australia.