Mikhail Youzhny takes on Gilles Simon in the night match in Dubai on Tuesday.
Simon is in fine form at the moment having won the Sydney title last month but his fans will be holding out little hope for him against Youzhny.
The Russian has won all seven of their career matches which is quite a sizeable psychological advantage and also triumphed in three sets when they met in Marseille last week. Simon looked like finally breaking his duck when he took the opening set but Youzhny hit back strongly to win 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Youzhny looked in decent form over the brief indoor swing. He lost to eventual champion Robin Soderling in Rotterdam and will have been disappointed not to make the Marseille final, taking out Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarter-finals before squandering match point during an epic defeat against Marin Cilic in the last four.
Five of Youzhny's seven wins over Simon have come on hard courts. It will be a surprise if he does not notch an eighth straight victory over the Frenchman.