2017 ATP Winston-Salem Preview and Predictions
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
Prior to the U.S. Open, the ATP’s stop in Winston-Salem is the final chance for ATP players to get some matches in, and it’s the last stop on the US Open Series.
ATP World Tour 250
August 20-26, 2017
Winston-Salem, NC, USA
Prize Money: $664,825
Top 4 seeds (Top 16 seeds receive first round byes) (ATP ranking in parentheses)
1: Roberto Bautista Agut (15)
2: Pablo Carreno Busta (16)
3: John Isner (14)
4: Kevin Anderson (32)*
Dusan Lajovic won his opening match against main draw debutante Petros Chrysochos, but Roberto Bautista Agut should be too solid on hard courts, and looks set to defeat him in round 2. Marcos Baghdatis won his opening match against Ricardas Berankis, he should defeat Jiri Vesely for a fourth straight time to reach the third round before falling to Bautista Agut.
Yuichi Sugita is in great form and reached the quarters in Cincy. Sugita should defeat Thiago Monteiro (or dirtballer Paolo Lorenzi) in the third round, after Taylor Fritz or Malek Jaziri fall victim to him in the second round. This is an open section and you have to back Sugita’s form.
John Isner is 12-2 in the US this summer, and looks set to defeat Andrey Kuznetsov in round 2, after Kuznetsov defeated Nicolas Kicker. Borna Coric should defeat a struggling Donald Young, or qualifier Rogerio Dutra Silva before falling to Isner in the third round.
Aljaz Bedene hasn’t had as much success on hard courts as other surfaces, he’ll be favored against Andreas Seppi or Janko Tipsarevic though. I have Jan-Lennard Struff making a run, he just defeated Norbert Gombos, Pablo Cuevas is poor on hard courts and should be next, then Bedene in round 3.
Defending champion Pablo Carreno Busta should beat Pierre-Hugues Herbert (or Julien Benneteau) in round 2. Herbert continues to improve in singles, but PCB has good history here. Hyeon Chung is my dark horse pick this week, Andrey Rublev (or Steve Darcis) could trip him up, but I have him defeating Carreno Busta in the third round.
Dominik Koepfer is making his ATP debut as a lucky loser against Horacio Zeballos, Fernando Verdasco will be favored against the winner. With Gilles Simon struggling, Damir Dzumhur is in tremendous form, he should beat Denis Istomin, then upset Simon before falling to Verdasco in the third round.
Joao Sousa is in tremendous form, he should beat Marton Fuscovics or Ernests Gulbis, Daniil Medvevev had a good run in Washington but then hit the skids. Kyle Edmund faces Thomas Fabbiano, I have Edmund slipping past Medvedev, and then Sousa in the third round.
Steve Johnson is in terrible form and hasn’t won a match on the US Open Series. Viktor Troicki hasn’t won a match since the grass court season, while Alex Bolt faces a struggling Carlos Berlocq in this section. Dmitry Tursunov will face Rendy Lu, Lu has won 10 straight matches and is red hot on the challenger tour. Look for Lu to beat Tursunov, then Johnson. I have Bolt upsetting Troicki before falling to Lu in the third round.
Bautista Agut d. Sugita
Isner d. Struff
Edmund d. Lu
Chung d. Verdasco
In the open bottom section look for the young guns Edmund and Chung to slip into the semis over veterans. Isner is a strong favorite to reach at least the semifinals.
Isner d. Bautista Agut
Edmund d. Chung
Isner should stay in form and take the title at home in North Carolina.
Isner d. Edmund