2018 ATP Marrakech Preview and Predictions: Clay Court Action Returns With the Grand Prix Hassan II
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
The ATP 250 tournament in Morocco heralds the return of clay on the ATP tour as the race for the French Open begins anew. Here is your full preview with predictions for Africa’s only ATP stop.
Top Half:Embed from Getty Images
Top seed Albert Ramos should be skilled enough on clay to defeat Amine Ahouda and J.L. Struff/qualifier to reach the quarters. At that point he should meet either his countryman Pablo Andujar, who comes off a challenger title, or Alexandr Dolgopolov. Both Dolgo and Andjuar are returning from injuries, and they open with qualifiers. I’ll go with Ramos over Andujar in the quarters.
Philipp Kohlschreiber is in good form as he takes on out of shape shotmaker Lamine Ouahab. Nikoloz Basilashvili takes on Matteo Berrettini in the other contest in this section. Kohlschreiber, presuming he’s fresh enough, should win it over Berrettini to reach the quarters. Robin Haase and Joao Sousa are options in the quarters, I’ll back Sousa over a qualifier and Haase/Mirza Basic before falling to Kohli.Embed from Getty Images
Kyle Edmund has struggled in his return from injury thus I have him losing to Jiri Vesely in the opening round. I’ll back Andreas Seppi over Radu Albot and Vesely to reach the quarters coming off of Davis Cup. Paolo Lorenzi is my dark horse this week, he feasts on 250’s on clay like this and his path of Mischa Zverev, and Marton Fucsovics/Malek Jaziri is not overly imposing. Lorenzi over Seppi is my pick in the quarters.Embed from Getty Images
The strongest section of the draw features Benoit Paire vs. Gilles Simon, with Paire as my choice. Roberto Carballes Baena vs. Max Marterer, Thomas Fabbiano vs. Richard Gasquet, and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez vs. a qualifier. Gasquet has struggled badly as of late but I’ll stick with him against Fabbiano and Garcia-Lopez. Paire should beat Marterer and Gasquet to reach the semis.
Ramos d. Kohlschreiber
Paire d. Lorenzi
I’ll go with Paire this week in a really open field. Kohlschreiber should be facing fatigue, while Ramos and Lorenzi may not be sharp enough.
Paire d. Ramos