2013 ATP Hamburg and Bogota Previews
The ATP entrée choices this week are a 500 on clay in Hamburg with some history and a brand new 250 on hard courts in Bogota that will try to make some new history. ATP tennis returns to Colombia for the first time in 11 years.
bet-at-home Open-German Tennis Championships
ATP World Tour 500
July 15-July 21, 2013
Prize Money: €1,230,500
Top 8 seeds (top 16 seeds receive first round byes)
1: Roger Federer
2: Tommy Haas
3: Nicolas Almagro
4: Jerzy Janowicz
5: Juan Monaco
6: Andreas Seppi
7: Alex Dolgopolov
8: Jeremy Chardy
The addition of Federer this time, as he tries to make up ranking points, makes this solid 500 even more notable.
First round matchups to watch:
(wc) Alexander Zverev vs. Roberto Bautista Agut
Alexander Zverev is the 16-year-old brother of journeyman pro Mischa Zverev and the son of a former Soviet tennis player from the 80s also named Alex Zverev. He will be playing his first career ATP match against Stuttgart semifinalist Roberto Bautista Agut. Zverev is currently the #2 junior in the world and made the final of the Junior French Open, where he lost to another prodigy, Christian Garin of Chile (he also lost to Stefan Kozlov of Newport fame at Junior Wimbledon). This is clearly a big step up, but it will be interesting what he can do against the Spaniard.
Federer needs points here, having slipped to number 5, and will play Paolo Lorenzi or Daniel Brands at the start. After that he could meet qualifiers Lukasz Kubot or Jan Hajek or the 15 seed Ernests Gulbis, who fell to Tommy Haas in Hamburg in another 3 set match.
Alex Dolgopolov starts against Florian Mayer or Nikolay Davydenko and then could get wild card JL Struff, Leo Mayer, or 11 seed Feliciano Lopez.
Wimbledon semifinalist Jerzy Janowicz will play Robin Haase, who comes off a challenger final, or qualifier Diego Sebastian Schwartzman. He could then meet 14 seed Fernando Verdasco, the Bastad finalist, if Verdasco beats the Zverev/Bautista winner.
Jeremy Chardy, coming off an opening match loss in Bastad, plays Pablo Andujar or Dmitry Tursunov followed by Tommy Robredo, who suffered an early loss in Bastad, or qualifier Federico Delbonis/wild card Julian Reister.
Haas, who was blitzed by Fognini in Stuttgart, will play Blaz Kavcic or Stuttgart semifinalist Victor Hanescu. The winner gets 16 seed Martin Klizan, Bastad winner Carlos Berlocq, or wild card Matthias Bachinger.
Andreas Seppi plays Marcel Granollers or Thomaz Bellucci, with Bellucci looking ok coming off injury, winning a round in Stuttgart and doing well in the doubles. Seppi could meet his countryman and Stuttgart champion Fabio Fognini, if Fognini beats Albert Ramos/Horacio Zeballos. Zeballos has been atrocious since the golden swing, while Ramos made quarters in Bastad.
Bastad quarterfinalist Nicolas Almagro awaits Tobias Kamke or an inconsistent Lukas Rosol. The winner gets Mikhail Youzhny or a pair of Spaniards, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez/Daniel Gimeno-Traver.
Bastad quarterfinalist Juan Monaco will play Stuttgart quarterfinalist Gael Monfils or Andrey Golubev in a solid 2nd round match, with the winner meeting 9 seed Benoit Paire or Paul-Henri Mathieu/Albert Montanes. Montanes is coming off a bad opening round loss in Stuttgart.
Dark Horse: Victor Hanescu
There are many players including Gulbis, Struff, Verdasco, Monfils and Bellucci who could make noticeable runs at this event, but I’ll give the veteran Romanian Hanescu top billing as he is good on clay, and in form. If he beats Kavcic and upsets Haas, who is a solid player but was noticeably unsteady in Stuttgart, it should be smoother sailing against Klizan, a tired Berlocq or Bachinger. In the quarters he could see a tired Fognini, an off Seppi or someone else such as Bellucci, all of whom are beatable.
Federer d. Mayer
Janowicz d. Robredo
Almagro d. Monfils
Haas d. Seppi
Federer should have more to worry about with Brands and Gulbis early, but I’ll pick the unseeded Mayer as his quarterfinal opponent because neither Dolgo or Lopez are trustworthy seeds. Struff may not be experienced enough yet.
JJ may get a challenge from Verdasco, but I think he will be fresher and prevail if they meet. Robredo was terrible in Bastad, but has a weak draw before the quarters.
Almagro should reach the quarters and beyond, while I like Monfils over the seeds Monaco and Paire in that section. Almagro beat Monfils this year on clay in Houston.
Haas or Hanescu should beat Seppi, and I think Fognini will be too tired to do damage in this section. Same applies to Bellucci. Haas beat Seppi in Madrid this year on clay.
Federer d. Janowicz
Almagro d. Haas
Federer beat JJ in Rome on clay this year, and the same result should occur here even with Federer being less reliable than he used to be.
Almagro has never beaten Haas (0-3), but they last met on clay in ’05 and their other two previous meetings on hard courts both went 3 sets.
Federer d. Almagro
Federer hasn’t played Nico in 6 years, and a lot has changed, but the 5-0 h2h speaks for itself. Federer wouldn’t play a 500 event like this if he wasn’t motivated to win it, and he still has enough skill to do just that.
Claro Open Colombia
ATP World Tour 250
July 15-July 21, 2013
Prize Money: $638,085
Top 4 seeds (Who all receive first round byes)
1: Janko Tipsarevic
2: Kevin Anderson
3: Igor Sijsling
4: Edouard Roger-Vasselin
The equivalent of a strong challenger field for a 250, and a great chance for some lower ranked guys to pick up points and prize money.
First round matchups to watch:
Vasek Pospisil vs. Michal Przysiezny
Vashy lost in 3 sets to Ivo Karlovic in Newport and has a great chance to make a big run here. Przysienzny made quarters in Newport, and has been solid this year.These two met in the final of the Johannesburg challenger on hard courts back in May and Pospisil came out the winner in 3 sets. I expect the same.
Janko Tipsarevic has been abysmal this year after the month of January, and he probably has gone out of his way to Bogota to try and fix that. He opens with Ruben Bemelmans or wild card Nico Barrientos. He should get past that, but literally nothing has been assured for Tipsy this year. Beyond that, one of Jimmy Wang/Matt Ebden/Xaiver Malisse/Alejandro Falla await in the quarters in what is literally a toss-up section.
Roger-Vasselin comes off an opening round Newport loss and gets Matteo Viola or Ilya Marchenko, then the Pospisil/Przysiezny winner or James Duckworth/Aljaz Bedene in the quarters. None of those players are really in spectacular form at the moment.
Big Kevin Anderson has a great draw, opening with a qualifier or wild card Eduardo Struvay. In the quarters it should be Evgeny Korolev, a qualifier, Santiago Giraldo or wild card Carlos Salamanca in another incredibly open section. Again, the home favorite Colombians will be trying to make a mark.
Newport quarterfinalist Igor Sijsling takes on a qualifier or fellow Newport quarterfinalist Ivo Karlovic, who looked great in his comeback event and with these fast courts could very well surprise. Quarterfinal opponents are one of a qualifier, Facundo Arguello, Adrian Mannarino or Alejandro Gonzalez.
Dark Horse: Vasek Pospisil
Everyone but the top 2 seeds are basically dark horses in such an open event, but I have Pospisil in the final so I’ll officially designate him. After Przysiezny, Duckworth/Bedene are beatable and Roger-Vasselin can be good but is streaky with his play. Tipsarevic, short of totally laying an egg, should make the quarters, but for some reason I just can’t see him winning this event. I say Vashy will upset him there to reach the final.
Pospisil is a talented Canadian on the verge of a breakthrough for a while now, and though injuries beset him and his climb has been slow and steady rather than meteoric, he still is very talented and makes his home on the hard courts. After a slow start to his season, he made a challenger final, a challenger semi, won a challenger and qualified for a slam (the French). Good signs for the future.
Pospisil d. Tipsarevic
Anderson d. Sijsling
Already went through the first semi, and Anderson should have no trouble at the bottom of the draw with nothing even near threatening in his way. Sijsling should very well do the same right above him, though Karlovic is a dangerous floater who can’t be easily be predicted besides tiebreak tennis.
Anderson d. Pospisil
This is Anderson’s tournament to lose in my opinion: hard courts, well rested and as good of an ATP level draw as any top player is going to get. His final opponent could give him a bit of trouble, but with 2 ATP finals under his belt this year, look for him to get his first title of the year in Bogota.
—Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com