Late-entry wildcard Gilles Simon of France is the top seed at the Estoril Open in Portugal, where a number of the claycourt legends (or semi-legends) of old face off early against the new crop of top players on the ATP circuit.
If Simon can get past American Robert Kendrick in his opener, he is looking at a possible second-round match up with wildcard and former French Open winner Gaston Gaudio. Russian Nikolay Davydenko, if he advances to the second round, is looking at a potential match-up with unseeded former No. 1 and former French Open winner Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain.
Other seeded players are David Ferrer, James Blake, David Nalbandian, Mardy Fish, Al Montanes and Florent Serra.
The No. 8-seeded Serra’s draw is an Argentine nightmare, with an opener against fast rising Diego Junqueira, and a second-round meeting with the hot-handed Juan Monaco. Among the American contingent, Blake opens against Portugal’s Federico Gil and his home crowd backing, and Fish starts against Russian Teimuraz Gabashvili.
Choosing not to defend his title is world No. 2 Roger Federer, who last year beat Davydenko in the final when the Russian retired in the first set with injury.
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