Grand Prix Hassan II
April 8-April 14, 2013
Prize Money: € 467,800
Top 4 seeds (Who all receive first round byes)
1: Stanislas Wawrinka
2: Kevin Anderson
3: Martin Klizan
4: Benoit Paire
1st round matchups to watch:
Tobias Kamke vs. (5) Jurgen Melzer
These two just met in Miami with Melzer winning in route to the quarterfinals, but this rematch will be on a different surface and both are playing well at the moment.
Matthias Bachinger vs.(8) Grega Zemlja
Bachinger is a bit of an enigma as he can play really well some weeks and really badly on other weeks. His best result last year was semis in Bucharest on clay and he is coming off semis in the Le Gosier (hard court) challenger. If he could get past this match and upset Zemlja who is nearing the top 50 once again, the draw would really open up for him.
Stanislas Wawrinka will be a heavy favorite at the top of the draw. He will play Blaz Kavcic or Moroccan wild card Mehdi Ziadi then could meet one of Albert Montanes, Edouard Roger-Vasselin, Daniel Gimeno-Traver or Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the quarters.
Benoit Paire comes off a title in Le Gosier but is still struggling with inconsistency. He will open with a qualifier or Aljaz Bedene and then could player Melzer/Kamke, Tommy Robredo or Guillaume Rufin in the quarters. This is an entertaining section, especially if Melzer and Paire meet.
Kevin Anderson, who isn’t known for his clay court prowess, will open with a qualifier or two time defending champion Pablo Andujar. Though Andujar isn’t on top of his game right now, he’s still never lost in Casablanca and would have to be the favorite in that match. The winner will get Zemlja/Bachinger, a qualifier or Moroccan wild card Younes Rachidi in a very open section.
Martin Klizan has lost 4 matches in a row dating back to February and will face a qualifier or more likely, Paul-Henri Mathieu. PHM is historically good on clay but hasn’t played any matches since Indian Wells 1st round. Matheiu lost to Klizan in Rotterdam and PHM hasn’t won an ATP level match this year (0-5).
In the quarters, one of those 3 choices will probably play 7 seed Robin Haase, who opens with Roberto Bautista-Agut or Steve Darcis/Kenny De Schepper.
Dark Horse: Matthias Bachinger
As mentioned previously, Bachinger is a flaky player but he has an excellent draw if he can win his 1st round match. The wild card or the qualifier should be easy enough, and then either a struggling Andujar or an off-surface Anderson in the quarters are both beatable. He could even make the final given the very beatable likes of Haase and Mathieu.
Wawrinka d. Paire
Haase d. Andujar
Wawrinka and Paire are well known best friends and I am sure that they do not want to play each other. Regardless of their friendship, Stan the Man should have the edge. Haase will be back in the top 50 if he does well and though he is 0-4 in his last four matches, I have a feeling Davis Cup will give him a much needed confidence and motivation boost heading into this event.
Wawrinka d. Haase
Wawrinka is a better player and should win this; he is 6-0 against Haase including beating him on clay 3 times last year.