The Rotterdam 500 is the top ATP tournament this week. Tennis returns to North America with the New York 250 on Long Island, and the Golden Swing on clay continues with Buenos Aires on the calendar. Here is your look at all the action.
The Rotterdam indoor 500 has the strongest draw this week. The first section is stacked with Kei Nishikori going up against Montpellier finalist Pierre-Hugues Herbert first, then Marius Copil/Ernests Gulbis, with Sofia finalist Marton Fucsovics favored to be up in the quarters after he beats Martin Klizan and Hyeon Chung/Nikoloz Basilashvili. Chung has talent but he’s struggled early in the season, with Nishikori the favorite to win his section.
In section 2 Milos Raonic and Tomas Berdych are on a collision course. Raonic has the inside track against Phillip Kohlschreiber, and Stan Wawrinka/Benoit Paire, while Berdych should beat Gilles Simon and Denis Shapovalov/Franko Skugor. Raonic will be favored to win the section but should be challenged in his matches.
Section 3’s favorite is in the in-form Gael Monfils. Monfils should get an opportunity to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas for the second week in a row presuming he can upset a struggling David Goffin, and Andreas Seppi/Peter Gojowczyk. Tsitsipas path to the quarters is Damir Dzumhur, and either local favorite Robin Haase or Mikhail Kukushkin. This is Monfils section to lose.
The final section has Russian stars Daniil Medvedev and Karen Khachanov potentially facing off in the quarters. Medvedev won Sofia, while Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won Montpellier and is also in this section. I’ll back Medvedev against Jeremy Chardy, Fernando Verdasco against Matt Ebden, Tsonga against Thomas Fabbiano, and Khachanov against Tallon Griekspoor. From there Khachanov should edge a fatigued Tsonga, Verdasco should edge a fatigued Medvedev, with Verdasco my dark horse pick to go through against Khachanov.
Monfils d. Verdasco
Raonic d. Nishikori
Veterans should have a solid week with Monfils riding a run of form into the final, and Raonic’s serve helping him upset Nishikori and then edge Monfils to lift the title.
Raonic d. Monfils
ATP New York
The New York 250 looks like Reilly Opelka‘s time to shine. The unseeded rising American has a draw that will allow him to reach the quarterfinals at worst, with a strugging Adrian Mannarino up first, Mackenzie McDonald/Denis Istomin to follow. John Millman is a solid player but even if he beats Guillermo Garcia-Lopez/Bradley Klahn he’s an underdog against Opelka, who would then get John Isner, the top American who he defeated in Melbourne at the AO. Isner’s path is Lukas Lacko/Bernard Tomic and a qualifier or Jordan Thompson/Noah Rubin. Isner is the tournament favorite on paper, but I’ll back Opelka over Isner in the semis after Isner beats Thompson and Opelka beats Millman.
College tennis player Jack Mingjie Lin is making his ATP debut against a qualifier, the winner of that match faces Steve Johnson who hasn’t won a match since the US Open in New York. Section 3 features Tennys Sandgren as the favorite. The Auckland champ should beat dirtballer Paolo Lorenzi, and an out of form Peter Polansky/Ryan Harrison before defeating Johnson in the quarters.
I have Frances Tiafoe as the tournament favorite, the #2 seed faces Jason Jung/qualifier, with Radu Albot his quarterfinal opponent in my bracket. Albot should upset Ivo Karlovic before dispatching Lloyd Harris (after Harris upsets Sam Querrey). Tiafoe over Albot is my quarterfinal pick
Opelka d. Isner
Tiafoe d. Sandgren
Expect an All-American semifinal cast with Tiafoe the favorite to win the tournament. Opelka winning his first ATP tournament would not surprise me however.
Tiafoe d. Opelka
ATP Buenos Aires
The Golden Swing on clay continues with Dominic Thiem as the top seed. Thiem faces Facundo Bagnis/Max Marterer first up, with Bagnis likely to challenge him. Cordoba winner Juan Ignacio Londero faces Joao Sousa first up, with Pablo Cuevas/Marcelo Arevalo next up. Londero’s form should run up against his fatigue, with Thiem over Cuevas my pick for the quarters.
The retiring David Ferrer may have another big run left in him. Ferrer has a winnable path against Malek Jaziri, and Albert Ramos/Rogerio Dutra Silva. He will draw Diego Schwartzman or Aljaz Bedene/Guido Andreozzi in the quarters. I’ll back the home Argentine Schwartzman to win the section.
Nicolas Jarry is the favorite in a section of other clay courters, with Lorenzo Sonego first up, Taro Daniel/Roberto Carballes Baena to follow, and Marco Cecchinato the likely quarterfinal opponent, though his countrymn Christian Garin and Felix Auger Aliassime are also in this section. Jarry over Cecchinato is my pick for the quarters.
The final section has Guido Pella against Francisco Cerundolo making his ATP debut in an all-Argentine clash. Leonardo Mayer should slip past Dusan Lajovic, with Pella favored against Mayer, and Federico Delbonis favored to defeat Jaume Munar and Fabio Fognini at home. Pella over Delbonis is my pick in the quarters.
Thiem d. Schwartzman
Pella d. Jarry
Thiem should have a good tournament but I’ll back the home player Pella to get past Jarry and Thiem to lift this 250 title.
Pella d. Thiem