2013 Citi Open ATP Qualifying Preview, Predictions
Matt Ebden is the top qualies seed and the only one with a bye. He comes off the 2nd round in Atlanta, where he qualified and took Kevin Anderson to 3 sets. His first match will be against the winner of Saketh Myneni/Donald Young, in an ATL qualies rematch that was won by Young. If Ebden isn’t too tired, I would expect him to qualify out of this section.
Rhyne Wiliams has to play qualies here after looking great in Atlanta, where he served past Denis Kudla and gave Lleyton Hewitt a real test before succumbing in Round 2. He will open with Robby Ginepri, whose back is hopefully not a problem. Williams should qualify out of this section.
ATL qualifier Tim Smyczek will face doubles specialist Alex Peya, followed by Farrukh Dustov or UVA wild card Jarmere Jenkins. Jenkins is talented, and Dustov retired from his last match at the Binghamton challenger, meaning the local fave will have more than a punchers chance to advance. Regardless, Smyczek will be the favorite on a hardcourt.
Jesse Levine gets Denys Molchanov and then the winner of Sekou Bangoura/Yuichi Sugita. Levine will be the favorite here if he can win his first match as Bangoura is mainly a futures and mid level challenger player, while Sugita seems to be in poor form after watching him in Atlanta.
Somdev Devvarman will play Jesse Witten, who has sort of disappeared into futures level tennis after once being in the top 200. He is now ranked outside the top 500. After Witten, Devvarman may get a major test against wunderkind Christian Harrison , who comes off a great showing in Atlanta, to take on Ilya Marchenko. Marchenko comes off a Lexington challenger quarterfinal loss. Yesterday, I liked what I saw not only of Harrison’s game but of his fitness, and with Devvarman somewhat inconsistent, I’ll take Harrison out of this section.
Binghamton challenger winner and US Open Wildcard leader Alex Kuznetsov will take his talents to DC against wildcard Mac Styslinger. After that, Kuz should see the winner of Tunisian Journeyman Malek Jaziri vs. UVA wildcard Mitchell Frank, the young American with a rather loopy game who will be looking to make noise at his regional event. Jaziri is another who just comes off a Lexington challenger quarterfinal loss. If Kuznetsov is fit and healthy, edge to him in this section.