Washington, D.C. previews and picks: Hewitt vs. Harrison, Querrey vs. Istomin

Lleyton Hewitt and Ryan Harrison will face each other on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. following successful semifinal campaigns in Atlanta. Meanwhile, the beginning of second-round action features Sam Querrey and Denis Istomin.

Lleyton Hewitt vs. Ryan Harrison

Hewitt and Harrison will be going head-to-head for the first time in their careers when they collide in a marquee first-round match at the Citi Open on Tuesday. Both players are coming off semifinal performances in Atlanta. Hewitt battled past Edouard Roger-Vasselin, Rhyne Williams, and Ivan Dodig before losing to eventual champion John Isner in a third-set tiebreaker. Harrison ousted Marinko Matosevic, Igor Sijsling, and Santiago Giraldo (in a third-set tiebreaker) then fell to Kevin Anderson in two competitive sets.

For Hewitt, it continued a run of good form. The 32-year-old Aussie reached the semifinals at Queen’s Club and finished runner-up in Newport earlier this month. Harrison, on the other hand, was in dire need of some confidence. The 21-year-old American is still just 9-16 at the ATP level this season and he is slowly but surely making his way back to the Top 100 (currently No. 107). Harrison served huge in Atlanta, but Hewitt remains one of the best returners in the game and he should be able to negate his opponent’s biggest offensive weapon.

Pick: Hewitt in 3

Denis Istomin vs. (6) Sam Querrey

Istomin and Querrey will be squaring off for the sixth time in their careers during second-round action on Tuesday. Querrey leads the head-to-head series 3-2, including 2-1 on hard courts. They met twice last season, with Istomin prevailing 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 on the indoor hard courts of San Jose before Querrey got some revenge courtesy of a 7-6(4), 6-3 victory on the grass courts of Queen’s Club.

While Querrey earned a first-round bye this week, Istomin opened with a 6-3, 6-4 scalp of Santiago Giraldo. The 65th-ranked Uzbek is a decent 22-20 at the ATP level this year and he is coming off a quarterfinal showing in Atlanta, where consistently stellar tennis took him to the brink of the semis until he was edged out by Anderson. Querrey has not won a match since his Queen’s Club opener, so he heads into D.C. on a three-match losing streak. Istomin’s confidence and superior match toughness right now could result in a minor upset.

Pick: Istomin in 3

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