By Jake Davies
- Aljaz Bedene defeats Jose Hernandez-Fernandez [LL] 6-1 6-2
- Next up for Bedene is No.3 seed and World No.34 Karen Khachanov in Hamburg
- Kyle Edmund  defeats Marcos Baghdatis 6-3 7-5
- Edmund now meets Peter Gojowczyk in the second round of Atlanta
HAMBURG & ATLANTA – With Aljaz Bedene & Kyle Edmund neck and neck on ranking points, they advance this week as they both aim for the quarter-finals.
Aljaz Bedene def. Jose Hernandez-Fernandez [LL] 6-1 6-2
Aljaz Bedene justified his decision to continue playing on the red clay courts of Hamburg after beating lucky loser Jose Hernandez-Fernandez in straight sets on Wednesday. The match was never in doubt as the British No.2 controlled the majority of the points with his forehand shot, served incredibly well throughout the match and also dominated the majority of the longer points. Hernandez-Fernandez is relatively unknown at this level. The Dominican regularly plays his tennis on the Challenger circuit and struggled enormously to make the adjustment of playing a player that has grown comfortable to everything that the ATP tour has to offer.
Two breaks in either set was enough to give Bedene the victory and the Brit now faces No.3 seed Karen Khachanov in the next round – a much bigger test awaits.
Bedene vs Karen Khachanov  H2H: Khachanov leads 2-0
Karen Khachanov has been on the tennis radar for quite some time now, but he is still just 21 years old. The big difference that Bedene will learn in this encounter is that Khachanov will be a lot more forceful than Hernandez-Fernandez. Khachanov really idolised Juan Martin Del Potro when he was growing up and you can see similarities in the two players when you watch the young Russian play his aggressive, authoritative style of tennis.
The major similarity in Khachanov’s game to that of the 2009 US Open champion Del Potro is the ability to make his opponent suffer with his huge forehand. If Bedene allows Khachanov to have plenty of time to have his way with that particular shot then it will be incredibly difficult for Bedene to cause the upset.
Prediction: Khachanov in two sets
Kyle Edmund  defeats Marcos Baghdatis 6-3 7-5
The fifth-seeded Kyle Edmund started off with an impressive win against Marcos Baghdatis in Atlanta. The match was a potential banana skin for Edmund, who had not exactly been in great form coming into his first hard court match since the Miami Masters earlier this year.
The single break of serve in both the first and the second set gave Edmund the straight sets win over the Cypriot and now prepares for a second round match-up against German Peter Gojowczyk.
Edmund  vs Peter Gojowczyk H2H: First meeting
Gojowczyk is a seriously tricky opponent on the faster hard courts and, of course, the grass courts in the summer. He recently made the semi-final of the grass court event in Newport last week, where he beat the defending champion Ivo Karlovic in the quarter-final, but Gojowcyzk is relatively inexperienced at the ATP main draw level.
He tends to ply his trade in the qualification stages of many of the ATP events or drops down a level to play the Challenger circuit, so Edmund is a serious step up in class in that respect.
Prediction: Edmund in three sets
Bedene v Khachanov are scheduled at 12:30pm (11:30 BST) and Edmund v Gojowczyk at 4pm (9pm BST).
Main Image Credit: ERIK S. LESSER/EPA/REX/Shutterstock
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