Top seed Radek Stepanek gets a rude welcome this week in his opening-round match when he faces big-serving American John Isner at The Slazenger Open in Nottingham, England.
No. 2 seed Paul-Henri Mathieu also opens with a tough one in rising Croat Marin Cilic.
Other seeds in Nottingham are Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, defending champion Ivo Karlovic, Frenchman Gilles Simon, Russian Dmitry Tursunov, Italian Andreas Seppi and Frenchman Gael Monfils.
Other openers of interest are Monfils against big-serving Aussie Chris Guccione, Karlovic vs. grasscourt veteran Jonas Bjorkman (winner to likely face Sam Querrey), and Simon vs. American Donald Young.
In last year’s final the unseeded Karlovic came from a set down to oust No. 8-seeded Arnaud Clement.
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