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Halle, London Thursday Briefing

HALLE THURSDAY PREVIEW – TOP TWO SEEDS NADAL & FEDERER MAKE 2012 GRASS COURT DEBUTS
• The second round wraps up Thursday at the Gerry Weber Open, with the last four spots in the quarter-finals up for grabs - and among the players in action are World No. 2 Rafael Nadal and No. 3 Roger Federer, this being the first time Halle has ever welcomed two players in the same year with double digit Grand Slams to their names.

• The first match on Centre Court is No. 8 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber against Poland’s Lukasz Kubot; who lost the previous meeting in straight sets in Stuttgart in July 2009. Kohlschreiber is the reigning champion here and his first round win was his 20th match win at this event (he is 20-6 lifetime here). Last month the No. 2 German (behind Mayer) earned his fourth career ATP World Tour title in Munich.                                                                                                   Kubot, who is appearing in Halle for the first time, is trying to reach his third ATP World Tour quarter-final of the season. He was a quarter-finalist in Memphis in February and in Bucharest in April.

• Next up is German wild card Tommy Haas against No. 6 seed Marcel Granollers of Spain. They have split their two previous meetings, both going to a decisive third set. The 34-year-old Haas, the oldest player in the singles draw, is a former Wimbledon semi-finalist and has reached the quarter-finals or better in Halle five times before (including winning the title in 2009). Haas is No. 87 this week after his third round showing at Roland Garros, his first Top 100 ranking since June 28, 2010. Granollers is coming off his best Grand Slam performance at Roland Garros where he reached the fourth round (l. to No. 6 Ferrer). He is trying advance to his first ATP World Tour quarter-final of the season. He is ranked a career-high No. 22 this week.

• Next up is top seed and World No. 2 Rafael Nadal against Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko; fresh off his record seventh Roland Garros title (and 11th overall Grand Slam crown). It was the Spaniard’s fourth title of the season and 50th of his career. Nadal begins his transition to grass this week - and he actually already started the transition with a first round doubles win, partnering Granollers. The two-time Wimbledon champion has won all three previous meetings with Lacko, though he did lose a set in one of their meetings, and at love too, at Doha in 2011 (but he recovered well for a 76(3) 06 63 victory). Lacko is attempting to earn his first career Top 10 victory (0-7) and reach his second quarter-final in three years in Halle. He is ranked a career-high No. 58 this week.

• Last up is No. 2 seed and World No. 3 Roger Federer against Germany’s Florian Mayer. Federer
is a perfect 3-0 in his career against Mayer (losing just 18 games in the seven sets they have played). The 30-year-old Swiss superstar may not have been to a Grand Slam final in a year now (since last year’s Roland Garros) but it’s hard to see him not doing it again soon. He is an amazing 53-5 since last year’s US Open, winning seven of the 12 tournaments he has played. And speaking of dominance, he has won the Gerry Weber Open a record five times (2003-06, ’08) and comes in with a 36-4 tournament record. Mayer is looking to reach his first quarter-final of the season and the fourth in his career in Halle. Mayer has reached the quarter-finals three times here in the past and he’s aiming for his 10th career Top 10 victory (9-30 mark). His last Top 10 win on grass came here five years ago when he defeated No. 3 Nikolay Davydenko in the second round.

THURSDAY SECOND ROUND FEDEX ATP HEAD 2 HEADS – In Order of Play

Centre Court

Lukasz Kubot (POL) vs (8) Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) Kubot Leads 1-0
09 Stuttgart (Germany) Clay R16 Lukasz Kubot 6-2 6-4

Kubot FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
QF: Memphis (l Becker); Bucharest (l Simon)
YTD W-L: 14-14 (5-4 career on grass)
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 0
Date of Birth: May 16, 1982
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 50
- First appearance in Halle (Second round in 2012)

Kohlschreiber FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
W: Munich (d Cilic); SF: Auckland (l Rochus); Montpellier (l Berdych); QF: Delray Beach (l Sela)
YTD W-L: 23-12 (30-16 career on grass)
YTD Titles: 1
Career Titles: 4
Date of Birth: October 16, 1983
South African Airways 2012 ATP Ranking: 34
- Eighth appearance (2005-12) in Halle (20-6 record; Winner in 2011, Runner-up in 2008, SF in 2007, ‘09)

(WC) Tommy Haas (GER) vs (6) Marcel Granollers (ESP) Tied 1-1
09 Houston (U.S.A.) Clay R16 Tommy Haas 4-6 6-2 6-3
12 ATP Masters 1000 Indian Wells (USA)Hard R64 Marcel Granollers 6-3 2-6 6-3

Haas FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
SF: Munich (l Cilic)
YTD W-L: 10-6 (44-23 career on grass)
YTD Titles: 0/Career Titles: 12
Date of Birth: April 3, 1978
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 87
- 12th appearance (1997-01, ’04-06, ’08-09, ‘11-12) in Halle (20-10 record; Winner in 2009, SF in 2005-06)

Granollers FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
YTD W-L: 11-11 (6-7 career on grass)
YTD Titles: 0/Career Titles: 3
Date of Birth: April 12, 1986
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 22 (Career-high)
- First appearance in Halle (Second Round in 2012)

(1)Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs Lukas Lacko (SVK) Nadal Leads 3-0
10 Australian Open (Australia) Hard R64 Rafael Nadal 6-2 6-2 6-2
11 Doha (Qatar) Hard R16 Rafael Nadal 7-6(3)0-6 6-3
12 Australian Open (Australia) Hard R32 Rafael Nadal 6-2 6-4 6-2

Nadal FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
W(4): ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo (d Djokovic); Barcelona (d Ferrer); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome (d Djokovic); Roland Garros (d Djokovic); F: Australian Open (l Djokovic); SF(3): Doha (l Monfils); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells (l Federer); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami (W/O vs Murray)
YTD W-L: 40-4 (48-10 career on grass)
YTD Titles: 4
Career Titles: 50
Date of Birth: June 3, 1986
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 2
- Second appearance (2005, ’12) in Halle (0-1 record; First Round in 2005)

Lacko FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
F: Zagreb (l Youzhny)
YTD W-L: 9-9 (5-6 career on grass)
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 0
Date of Birth: November 3, 1987
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 58 (Career-high)
- Third appearance (2009-10, ‘12) in Halle (4-2 record; Quarter-finals in 2010)

Florian Mayer (GER) vs (2) Roger Federer (SUI) Federer Leads 3-0
05 Halle (Germany) Grass R16 Roger Federer 6-2 6-4
06 Australian Open (Australia) Hard R64 Roger Federer 6-1 6-4 6-0
10 Stockholm (Sweden) Hard F Roger Federer 6-4 6-3

Mayer FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
YTD W-L: 9-14 (19-11 career on grass)
YTD Titles: 0/Career Titles: 1
Date of Birth: October 5, 1983
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 29
- Sixth appearance (2004-07, ’11-12) in Halle (8-5 record; Quarter-finals in 2006-07, ‘11)

Federer FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
W: Rotterdam (d Del Potro); Dubai (d Murray); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells (d Isner); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid (d Berdych); SF: Doha (W/O vs Tsonga); Australian Open (l Nadal); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome (l Djokovic); Roland Garros (l Djokovic)
YTD W-L: 36-5 (102-15 career on grass, 11 titles)
YTD Titles: 4
Career Titles: 74
Date of Birth: August 8, 1981
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 3
- 10th appearance (2000-06, ’08, ’10, ‘12) in Halle (36-4 record; Winner in 2003-06, ’08; Finalist in 2010)
      

LONDON THURSDAY PREVIEW – NO. 2 TSONGA, NO. 3 TIPSAREVIC, NO. 5 LOPEZ LEAD THIRD ROUND CARD
• Third round play on Thursday at the AEGON Championships feature seven of the top 10 seeds, including three of the top five. On Wednesday, seeds compiled a 7-9 mark as the No. 1 (Andy Murray), 4 (Gilles Simon) and 7 (Andy Roddick) seeds were eliminated.

• Leading off on Centre Court is Frenchman Nicolas Mahut.and young Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov
in a first-time meeting on the ATP World Tour. In Challenger play, Dimitrov won two of the previous three meetings. On Wednesday, Mahut posted his first Top 10 win in five years as he beat No. 4 Andy Murray 63 67 76. Mahut reached the final here five years ago (l. to Roddick) and he owns a 16-8 career mark at the Queen’s Club. The Frenchman is coming off a career-best third round showing at Roland Garros (l. to Federer). His best result of the year is a quarter-final in Montpellier in February. Dimitrov
has not dropped a set in his first two wins and he’s looking to reach his first ATP World Tour quarter-final of the season.

• the next match on, Ivan Dodig of Croatia and No. 5-ranked and last year’s finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga square off for the first time. Dodig has not dropped a set in the first two rounds in his Queen’s Club debut .Although Dodig has compiled inconsistent results this season (11-16), he has a career mark of 8-4 on grass. Dodig is 2-8 vs. Top 10 opponents in his career and his last win came over No. 2 Nadal in Montreal last August. Tsonga, who opened on Wednesday with a 63 62 win over British wild card Jamie Baker, is coming off a personal-best quarter-final showing at Roland Garros where he fell to World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in five sets (after holding four match points). The 27-year-old Frenchman is 29-11 on the season with a title in Doha (d. Monfils), a semi-final in Marseille and five other quarter-finals.

• In the third match on, Yen-Hsun Lu of Chinese Taipei and No. 3 seed Janko Tipsarevic meet for the third time, the first in four years. Tipsarevic has won the previous two meetings in a decisive final set, at Wimbledon (in five) in 2005 and in Miami (in three sets) in 208. Lu is trying to reach his first ATP World tour quarter-final of the season and first at the Queen’s Club in seven visits. His best result here is the third round in his 2004 debut and this week. Lu has rallied from a set down in his first two rounds, including a three tie-break battle with No.16 seed Ivo Karlovic, who fired 35 aces. Lu is 3-10 lifetime vs. Top 10 opponents with his last win coming over No. 7 Andy Roddick at Wimbledon two years ago. Tipsarevic has not won an ATP World Tour title this year, he’s compiled a 29-12 match record, reaching the quarter-finals or better in six tournaments. His best result was a runner-up in Chennai (l. to Raonic) in the opening week of the year.

• In the final match on, No. 10 seed and former World No. 3 David Nalbandian takes on Frenchman
Edouard Roger-Vasselin for the first time. Nalbandian is trying to reach his fifth ATP World Tour quarter-final of the season and the first here since a semi-final showing four years ago. The 30-year-old Argentine has the most career ATP World Tour titles (11) of any player in the top half of the draw. Roger-Vasselin has won his first two matches this week in three sets, including a 7-5 in the decisive set over No. 7 seed/four-time Queen’s Club champion Andy Roddick on Wednesday. Roger-Vasselin enters ranked a career-high No. 67 this week and he is 10-9 on the season. His best ATP World Tour result was a quarter-final in Marseille in February.

• On Court 1, there are four seeds highlighting the action: No. 5 Feliciano Lopez vs. No. 9 Kevin Anderson, No. 6 Marin Cilic (vs. Lukas Rosol) and No. 8 Julien Benneteau against 2010 AEGON Championships winner Sam Querrey (the only former champ left in the draw).

THURSDAY THIRD ROUND FEDEX HEAD-TO-HEADS - In Order of Play by Court

Centre Court

Nicolas Mahut (FRA) vs Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) First ATP Meeting
Other meetings:
09 Istanbul CH (Turkey) Hard R32 Grigor Dimitrov 4-6 7-6(1) 7-6(4)
10 Orleans CH (France) Hard F Nicolas Mahut 2-6 7-6(6) 7-6(4)
11 Cherbourg CH (France) Hard F Grigor Dimitrov 6-2 7-6(4)

Mahut FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
QF: Montpellier (l Berdych)
YTD W-L: 11-9 (30-23 career on grass)
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 0
Date of Birth: January 21, 1982
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 65
- Ninth appearance (2003-12, except ’05) at Queen’s Club (16-8 record; Finalist in 2007)

Dimitrov FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
YTD W-L: 9-8 (8-8 career on grass)
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 0
Date of Birth: May 16, 1991
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 72
- First appearance at Queen’s Club (2-0 record)

Ivan Dodig (CRO) vs (2) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) First Meeting

Dodig FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
QF: Zagreb (l Baghdatis)
YTD W-L: 11-16 (8-4 career on grass)
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 1
Date of Birth: January 2, 1985
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 69
- First appearance at Queen’s Club (2-0 record)

Tsonga FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
W: Doha (d Monfils); SF: Marseille (l Del Potro); QF(5): Dubai (l Del Potro); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami (l Nadal); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Monte Carlo (l Simon); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome (l Djokovic); Roland Garros (l Djokovic)
YTD W-L: 29-11 (22-8 career on grass)
YTD Titles: 1
Career Titles: 8
Date of Birth: April 17, 1985
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 5
-Third appearance (2007, ’11-’12) at Queen’s Club (7-2 record; Finalist in 2011)

Yen-Hsun Lu (TPE) vs (3) Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) Tipsarevic Leads 2-0
05 Wimbledon (England) Grass R64 Janko Tipsarevic 2-6 6-3 6-2 4-6 7-5
08 ATP Masters 1000 Miami (U.S.A.) Hard R128 Janko Tipsarevic 6-1 4-6 6-4

Lu FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
YTD W-L: 6-6 (17-21 career on grass)
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 0
Date of Birth: August 14, 1983
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 57
- Seventh appearance (2004, ’06-’10, ‘12) at Queen’s Club (5-6 record; Third Round in 2004, ‘12)

Tipsarevic FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
F: Chennai (l Raonic); SF(2): Marseille (l Llodra); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Madrid (l Federer); QF(3): Dubai (l Djokovic); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Miami (l Murray); Barcelona (l Nadal)
YTD W-L: 30-12 (30-21 career on grass)
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 2
Date of Birth: June 22, 1984
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 8
- Eighth appearance (2005-12) at Queen’s Club (7-7 record; Third round in 2008, ’11-12)

(10) David Nalbandian (ARG) vs Edouard Roger-Vasselin (FRA) First Meeting

Nalbandian FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
SF(2): Buenos Aires (l Ferrer); Belgrade (l Seppi); QF(2): Sao Paulo (l Volandri); ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells (l Nadal)
YTD W-L: 17-11 (28-11 career on grass)
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 11
Date of Birth: January 1, 1982
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 39
- Third appearance (2008, ’11-12) at Queen’s Club (7-2 record; Semi-finalist in 2008)
 
Roger-Vasselin FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
QF: Marseille (l Tsonga)
YTD W-L: 10-9 (6-7 career on grass)
Date of Birth: November 28, 1983
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 67 (Career-high)
- Second appearance (2008, ’12) at Queen’s Club (2-1 record; Third round in 2012)

Court 1

(9) Kevin Anderson (RSA) vs (5) Feliciano Lopez (ESP) Anderson Leads 1-0
11 Brisbane (Australia) Hard R16 Kevin Anderson 6-3 6-1

Anderson FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
W: Delray Beach (d Matosevic); QF: San Jose (l Raonic); Houston (l Monaco)
YTD W-L: 20-12 (9-10 career on grass)
YTD Titles: 1
Career Titles: 2
Date of Birth: May 18, 1986
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 30
- Fifth appearance (2008-12) at Queen’s Club (6-4 record; Third Round in 2011-12)

Lopez FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
SF: Houston (l Isner); Munich (l Kohlschreiber); QF: Barcelona (l Ferrer)
YTD W-L: 12-14 (35-22 career on grass)
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 2
Date of Birth: September 20, 1981
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 17
- Seventh appearance (2006-12) at Queen’s Club (7-6 record; Semi-finalist in 2010)

(8) Julien Benneteau (FRA) vs Sam Querrey (USA) Querrey Leads 4-1
07 Memphis (U.S.A.) Hard R16 Sam Querrey 6-3 6-4
07 Las Vegas (U.S.A.) Hard RR Sam Querrey 6-2 7-6(3)
07 Indianapolis (U.S.A.) Hard R32 Sam Querrey 7-6(6)6-1
08 Las Vegas (U.S.A.) Hard QF Sam Querrey 7-5 6-2
10 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Rome Clay R64 Julien Benneteau 7-6(6)3-6 7-6(2)

Benneteau FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
F: Sydney (l Nieminen); SF: San Jose (l Istomin)
YTD W-L: 15-10 (22-23 career on grass)
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 0
Date of Birth: December 20, 1981
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 28
- Eighth appearance (2004-07, ’09-12) at Queen’s Club (5-7 record; Third Round in 2010, ’12)

Querrey FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
QF: Memphis (l Stepanek)
YTD W-L: 9-11 (23-13 career on grass)
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 6
Date of Birth: October 7, 1987
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 77
- Fifth appearance (2008-12) at Queen’s Club (11-3 record; Winner in 2010)

(6) Marin Cilic (CRO) vs Lukas Rosol (CZE) First ATP Meeting
Other meeting:
12 Dallas 2 CH (U.S.A.) Hard R16 Marin Cilic 6-0 7-6(2)

Cilic FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
F: Munich (l Kohlschreiber)
YTD W-L: 11-9 (17-12 career on grass)
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 6
Date of Birth: September 28, 1988
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 25
- Sixth appearance (2007-12) at Queen’s Club (8-4 record; Quarter-finalist in 2007, ’11-W/O)

Rosol FastFacts:
2012 Highlights:
QF: Belgrade (l Andujar)
YTD W-L: 11-12 (2-0 career on grass)
YTD Titles: 0
Career Titles: 0
Date of Birth: July 24, 1985
South African Airways ATP Ranking: 101
- First appearance at Queen’s Club (2-0 record)
 
Court 9

Simone Bolelli (ITA) vs Xavier Malisse (BEL)  First Meeting

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