Fifth seed Denis Kudla takes on the in-form Michael Yani in a fascinating first round battle at the Lexington Challenger today.
Yani arrives in Lexington on the back of winning the Binghampton Challenger without dropping a set. It's been a tough 2012 season so far for the 31 year old American but he was superb in Binghampton and it will push any thoughts of retirement to the back of his mind for now.
"This year I've had a few nagging injuries," Yani said. "I started playing well in February, then I got hurt. I'm 31, and it's always nice to get any kind of title at this stage. Hopefully this will be a confidence booster."
Today he faces a man at the opposite end of his career. 19 year old Kudla is ranked 209 in the world (similar to Yani) and made a few waves at the start of the year, qualifying for the Australian Open and San Jose but the wins have dried up for him recently and he arrives in Lexington on a three match losing streak having lost in the first round in Binghampton.
If Yani can maintain the kind of serving he produced at week in Binghampton he will be strong favourite. No one could touch his serve and he was painting the lines with his aggressive shot-making.
Prediction: Yani in two.