Atlanta R2 previews and picks: Isner vs. Stepanek, Sock vs. Kudla

The Grandstand

SockThree in-form Americans will be part of second-round action on Thursday in Atlanta. John Isner is facing Radek Stepanek, while Jack Sock and Denis Kudla are set for an intriguing showdown.

(1) John Isner vs. (PR) Radek Stepanek

The two-time defending champion of the BB&T Atlanta Open, Isner will begin this year’s campaign at one of his favorite tournaments on Thursday. Isner has to be feeling relatively good at the moment, and not just because he is playing close to his old college stomping grounds in Athens, Georgia. In between a slow start to the season and a recent first-round loss to Rajeev Ram in Newport, the world No. 19 found plenty of success. Highlights this year include a semifinal showing in Miami and a quarterfinal appearance in Madrid, and a decent week Wimbledon saw him win two matches before bowing out to Marin Cilic 12-10 in the fifth set.

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