2014 ATP Kitzbuhel Preview, Predictions
Steen Kirby, Tennis East Coast
bet-at-home Cup Kitzbuhel
ATP World Tour 250
July 27-August 2,2014
Prize Money: € 426,605
Top 4 seeds (who all receive first round byes)
1: Philipp Kohlschreiber (24)
2: Marcel Granollers (28)
3: Lukas Rosol (43)
4: Andreas Seppi (48)
No player ranked in the top 20, but the overshadowed event in Kitzbuhel this week does manage to get the top 4 seeds who are top 50 players.
First round matchups to watch:
Jurgen Melzer vs. Pablo Andujar
Melzer is making his post-Wimbledon debut, while Andujar comes off the title in Gstaad. Playing on home soil, Melzer should have a crowd-infused boost as he seeks to return to his former form as one of the top clay-courters on tour. However, Andujar is striking the ball well right now, and assuming he’s not incredibly fatigued, he is likely a slight favorite here. Their only head-to-head meeting went 3 sets on a hard court and Melzer won it.
Former finalist Philipp Kohlschreiber is seeking to continue his good form from making the semifinals in Hamburg. He will open with David Goffin, who has been playing well on the challenger circuit, or Kenny De Schepper, and then should face Melzer/Andujar in the quarters, though Robin Haase, who always seems to excel in Kitzbuhel, could spoil the party. Haase faces Paolo Lorenzi first before the Melzer/Andujar winner.
Lukas Rosol, who has been having a good clay court season, will open with an Austrian, Gerald Melzer or Andreas Haider-Maurer. Melzer is still looking for elusive ATP main draw success. Rosol should face Pablo Carreno Busta in a competitive quarterfinal. The Argentine gets Maximo Gonzalez first and then Albert Ramos/Viktor Galovic.
Marcel Granollers will face Alex Zverev or Diego Sebastian Schwartzman. Zverev could not repeat his Hamburg success last week in Gstaad, but he’ll get another shot as a wild card, and Granollers is a beatable opponent. Granollers/Zverev will likely face Jiri Vesely or Dominic Thiem in the quarterfinals. Thiem was awful last week in Gstaad and he must beat Joao Souza and Vesely or JL Struff to reach the quarterfinals on home soil. He has a win over Vesely on clay recently. There are talented but inconsistent players in this section.
Andreas Seppi, who has not been impressive at all, will face Dustin Brown or Pere Riba and likely Gstaad finalist Juan Monaco in the quarters. Pico faces Andrey Golubev and Jarkko Nieminen/Teymuraz Gabashvili for his first two matches, and none of those opponents are imposing.
Dark Horse: Juan Monaco
He found some of his previous talent in Gstaad, where he reached the final, and with an easy draw he could find himself in yet another final this week. Given the eclectic field, he has as good a chance as any right now.
Kohlschreiber d. Rosol
Granollers d. Monaco
Monaco has a win over Granollers this year and a 2-1 overall h2h against the Spaniard on clay.
Kohli just beat Rosol in Hamburg, and also has a win against him in Kitzbuhel in 2012 (Rosol won in Stuttgart this year).
Kohlschreiber d. Granollers
Form and focus should favor the German to win the title this week.