Aljaz Bedene‘s clay court season did not last as long as he would have anticipated. He built some great momentum leading into Roland Garros, but ended his run in Paris with a disappointing four-set loss to Czech Jiri Vesely.
The No.8 seed beat Denis Istomin for the second time this season in the first round of s-Hertogenbosch and now will fancy his chances against America’s Ernesto Escobedo – a man he beat at the same tournament twelve months ago.
Escobedo’s progress into the Top 100 of the men’s game is a pleasant sign of great things to come from male American players as he continues to try to find his way into the World’s Top 50 this season.
When anyone mentions Escobedo’s strengths and endearing qualities they discuss the power he can generate off the forehand wing. That shot has won him a lot of matches especially when he is given time to pick his spots on the court.
These next weeks are crucial for Bedene. He does not have the same level of expectation on grass as he does on the red clay, but he will want to do well in front of the British crowd when Wimbledon arrives in just over two weeks time. This grass court season should give Bedene the opportunity to swing freely now that he does not have a great deal of points to defend.
I think Bedene will have the measure of Escobedo in their second round clash. Escobedo’s game is the more explosive of the two, but Bedene has less glaring weaknesses in comparison to his American opponent.
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