Kohlschreiber vs. Dodig – preview and pick

Philipp Kohlschreiber will kick off his 2013 campaign during first-round Doha action on Monday night. His opening opponent of the season is Croatian veteran Ivan Dodig.

Philipp Kohlschreiber and Ivan Dodig will be facing each other for the third time in their careers when they kick off the 2013 season (albeit still in 2012) in round one of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open on Monday evening.

Kohlschreiber leads the head-to-head series 2-1 and all three previous meetings have been contested on hard courts. A 2011 first-round Davis Cup thriller went Kohlschreiber’s way 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6(6), 6-4. He prevailed again with a 6-2, 6-2 victory early last season in Delray Beach before Dodig got on the scoreboard courtesy of a 6-2, 7-6(6) Valencia triumph.

Dodig in action at the Cincinnati Masters

Dodig went on to reach the Valencia semifinals as he salvaged an otherwise disappointing year with a decent fall swing.  The 27-year-old Croat, who went 16-26 at the ATP level in 2012, ended it with a solid semifinal showing at the Bratislava Challenger.

Kohli wins
Kohlschreiber after beating Isner

Kohlschreiber, on the other hand, was his normal consistent self from start to finish. He compiled a 42-24 record that included fourth-round showings at the two hard-court majors and a quarterfinal appearance at Wimbledon. His Flushing Meadows run featured the latest finish in tournament history (tied), when he outlasted John Isner 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a third-round thriller that ended at 2:26 in the morning. The 29-year-old German heads into this year at No. 20 in the world.

It’s a much different season-opener this time around for Kohlschreiber, who was unseeded in 2012 and fell to Rafael Nadal in three sets. Seeded third in 2013, he has a much better chance of making a nice run to begin the year and head into the Australian Open with confidence.

Odds: Kohlschreiber -225, Dodig +165

Pick: Kohlschreiber 7-6(4), 6-2

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