2016 ATP Antwerp Previews and Predictions
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
A brand new ATP event takes place this week in Antwerp, Belgium, it’s a 250 level tournament and some of the best European players on tour are taking part in the European open.
ATP World Tour 250
October 17-23, 2016
Surface: Indoor Hard
Prize Money: €566,525
Top 4 seeds (who all receive first round byes) (ATP ranking in parentheses)
1: David Goffin (12)
2: David Ferrer (15)
3: Richard Gasquet (17)
4: Pablo Cuevas (22)
Antwerp hosts three top 20 players including home hero David Goffin.
First round matchups to watch:
(WC)Steve Darcis vs. Benoit Paire
Steve Darcis is a home favorite, and he’ll put his serve and volley skills up against a struggling Benoit Paire. Paire has been off his game for months and the veteran Darcis could knock him off.
David Goffin will face off with Tommy Robredo or Florian Mayer, with #6 seed Joao Sousa his most likely quarterfinal opponent. Goffin is in the race for London and needs to win his home tournament to have a chance at qualifying. Mayer is struggling, Sousa likewise isn’t playing well but he tends to play well indoors and he should beat qualifier Marius Copil, and the Darcis/Paire winner. Goffin over Sousa is my pick in the quarters.
Serve and volleyer Nicolas Mahut plays well in indoor hard court tournaments like this and he should dispatch Diego Schwartzman and Taylor Fritz or Joris De Loore for a spot in the quarterfinals. Fritz should defeat local favorite De Loore, while Pablo Cuevas faces Jozef Kovalik or Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in round 2. Kovalik has the best form in his section, and Mahut over Kovalik is my pick for the quarters.
David Ferrer is just 16-10 on hard courts this year but he’s still the strongest player in his section. The veteran will face an in-form but likely fatigued Kyle Edmund in round 2, after Edmund beats Illya Marchenko. Paul-Henri Mathieu faces Robin Haase first, with a struggling Federico Delbonis or an equally struggling Andreas Seppi to follow. Mathieu over Seppi is my pick for round 2, with Ferrer favored to defeat Mathieu.
Shenzen finalist Richard Gasquet will face Inigo Cervantes or serve and volleying qualifier Michael Berrer in round 2. Berrer should fall to Gasquet, and that would setup an all-French matchup with Gilles Simon. Simon faces ATP main draw debutante Yannick Maden with J.L. Struff, the Mons challenger champ, or Mikhail Youzhny to follow. Simon reached the semis in Shanghai, so I have him beating Struff and Gasquet to reach the semis and continue his good form.
Dark Horse: Kyle Edmund
If the British #2 can knock off Ferrer he would have a clear path to the semifinals. Edmund isn’t the headline grabber that Andy Murray is but he’s shown steady improvement this season, and a win over Ferrer would be a big result.
Goffin d. Mahut
Simon d. Ferrer
Goffin and Simon’s form should tip them to reach the final.
Goffin d. Simon
Goffin has to be the favorite to win his home tournament.