By Xavier Harley-Rudd
Martin 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.
By Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd
2013 entrants and seeds
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
Gilles SIMON France
Phillip KOHLSCHREIBER Germany
Juan MONACO Argentina
Kevin ANDERSON South Africa
Alexandr DOLGOPOLOV Ukraine
Andreas SEPPI Italy
Fabio FOGNINI Italy
Julien BENNETEAU France
The entrants confirmed are:
- Gilles SIMON (France)
- Philipp KOHLSCHREIBER (Germany)
- Juan MONACO (Argentina)
- Kevin ANDERSON (South Africa)
- Alexandr DOLGOPOLOV (Ukraine)
- Andreas SEPPI (Italy)
- Fabio FOGNINI (Italy)
- Julien BENNETEAU (France)
- Martin KLIZAN (Slovakia)
- Jarkko NIEMINEN (Finland)
- Viktor TROICKI (Serbia)
- Feliciano LOPEZ (Spain)
- Denis ISTOMIN (Uzbekistan)
- Radek STEPANEK (Czech Republic)
- Ivan DODIG (Croatia)
- Grega ZEMLJA (Slovenia)
- Bernard TOMIC (Australia)
- Fernando VERDASCO (Spain)
- Belgrade, Serbia
- Belgrade, Serbia
- 6’4″ (193 cm)
- 189 lbs (86 kg)
- Turned Pro
In 2008 he reached his first ATP final in Washington, as well as making his first appearance in a Grand Slam at the Australian Open, where Rafa Nadal sent him packing in the first round. Soon after that he won his first Grand Slam match, at the Wimbledon Championships.
In 2009 he played his second ATP final in Bangkok. A year later he finally managed to lift his first title in Moscow, and also helped Serbia win it’s first ever Davis Cup.
After playing two more ATP finals in Sydney and Moscow, in June 2011 he achieved his highest position in the world rankings, number 12. He also got the furthest in a Grand Slam in his career so far that year, advancing all the way to the last 16 of Roland Garros.