By a score of 6-4 6-4 Mischa Zverev, a 30 year old tour veteran and for many years an ATP Challenger Tour journeyman, stepped up and captured his first ATP title, defeating Lukas Lacko in the final. Zverev, contesting a third career final, edged Lacko after previously dropping just a set this week. In his opening match he needed 3 sets to defeat Nicolas Jarry but things got easier from there as his serve and volley game led him past Steve Johnson, Denis Shapovalov, and Mikhail Kukushkin to reach the final.
Lacko, normally a challenger player, found form at the ATP level to defeat Roberto Quiroz, Diego Schwartzman, Cam Norrie, and Marco Cecchinato, dropping just a set to Schwartzman prior to the final. Despite their success at this 250 level tournament, it would be surprise if Zverev or Lacko featured in a major way at Wimbledon.
British pairing Bambridge/O’Mara defeated the Skupski brothers in the doubles final.
#2 seed Damir Dzumhur won his third career ATP title, defeating Adrian Mannarino 6-1 1-6 6-1 in an hour and a half final on grass courts in Turkey. The 250 level title continues to confirm Dzumhur’s rise on tour as the Bosnian slipped past Marius Copil then eased past Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Jiri Vesely to reach the final.
Mannarino having never won an ATP title, was hungry but came up just short. The quirky Frenchman defeated Ricardas Berankis, Joao Sousa, and Gael Monfils, upsetting Monfils in three sets to reach the final.
Demoliner/Gonzalez defeated Dutch pairing Arends/Middelkoop in the doubles final.
Gael Monfils Looks To Get Back on Track at the Antalya Open 250 Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
The Antalya Open 250 is one of two final ATP warm up tournaments for Wimbledon and one of the last opportunities to gain ATP points on grass this season. Here is your look at all the action in Turkey this week.
Adrian Mannarino played good enough in Queens to suggest he’ll defeat Evgeny Donskoy/Ricardas Berankis in round 2 and then get past Florian Mayer or Joao Sousa in the quarters. I have Mayer defeating Mirza Basic in round 2, after Basic defeats Paolo Lorenzi.
Gael Monfils vs Robin Haase looks to be the matchup in quarterfinal #2. Monfils should find form to defeat a qualifier or Marcos Baghdatis, while Haase needs to defeat a qualifier and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez or a qualifier. I’ll go with Monfils to win the quarterfinal contest.
Marius Copil should have a good tournament with only Cem Ilkel and Damir Dzumhur standing in his path to the quarters. I’ll back Yuichi Sugita to continue his good form from Queens and defeat Guido Pella and Federico Delbonis/Pierre-Hugues Herbert and reach the quarters. Sugita over Copil is my pick at that stage.
Fernando Verdasco has a nice draw with Jiri Vesely/Jordan Thompson in the way in round 2, and Dusan Lajovic or a qualifier/Nikoloz Basilashvili/Roberto Carballes Baena awaiting in the quarters. Verdasco should win this section.
Djokovic Nabs Eastbourne, Sugita Wins Maiden Title in Antalya Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
Novak Djokovic emerged from the Aegon International in Eastbourne as a champion, taking the final against Gael Monfils 6-3 6-4, ensuring he won’t have lost more than one match on grass in a season since 2013, and that he has two ATP titles this year. The superstar Serbian didn’t drop a set in matches against Vasek Pospisil, Donald Young, and Daniil Medvedev in a tournament that was plagued by rain delays. Monfils reached his first final in a year by beating Cam Norrie, Bernard Tomic, and Richard Gasquet, his win over Gasquet one of the matches of the year as he recovered from a knee injury, and closed the match out in three despite serving for the match in set #2.
The Bryan Brothers won the doubles against Rohan Bopanna and Andre Sa.
Yuichi Sugita will move to a career high ranking well into the top 100, as he won his first ever ATP title, and continued a career best season. The 28 year old has won more than 30 matches at all levels and claimed the final over Adrian Mannarino 6-1 7-6. He adds the ATP trophy to a trophy case that includes three challengers this season. Sugita beat Matt Ebden, David Ferrer, Daniel Altmaier, and Marcos Baghdatis to reach the final. Mannarino reached his first final in two years with wins over Borna Coric, Mohamed Safwat, Fernando Verdasco from a set and a break down, and Andreas Seppi.
Robert Lindstedt and Aisam Ul-Haq Qureshi beat Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic in the doubles final.
2017 ATP Eastbourne and Antalya Preview and Predictions Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
The grass court season winds down on the ATP Tour with 250 level stops in Eastbourne, UK, where TA will be providing on-side coverage, and at a new ATP tournament in Antalya, Turkey. With grass court prep opportunities very limited on the ATP tour, a host of top players are looking for just a few extra matches before Wimbledon, including Novak Djokovic. Here is your full preview.
ATP World Tour 250*
Eastbourne, Great Britain
June 26-July 1, 2017
Prize Money: €635,660
*denotes joint ATP/WTA event
Top 4 seeds (who all receive first round byes) (ATP ranking in parentheses)
1: Novak Djokovic (2)
2: Gael Monfils (17)
3: John Isner (24)
4: Steve Johnson (25)
First round matches to watch:
Jiri Vesely vs. (Q)Vasek Pospisil
Vesely isn’t a pushover on grass, but he’s an underdog in this one because he hasn’t played a match on the surface this year. Coming off a challenger title on clay, the switch could be a challenge, but his form is good. Pospisil has been great recently and his serve does a lot of damage on grass, look for the Canadian to get a quality win and reach round 2.
Donald Young vs. Kyle Edmund
The Queen’s quarterfinalist Young will take on Edmund, a home favorite who was poor at Queen’s Club, and could use some form. Edmund on grass is probably a safer prospect, but battles hard and could get away with another upset this week.
Nicolas Mahut vs. Robin Haase
The struggling Frenchman Mahut will take on Halle quarterfinalist Haase. Both players have the ability to peak on grass, and Mahut is typically the better player on this surface, he also has a h2h win. All of that said, if Haase can avoid a mental collapse I have him eking out a win in this one, Mahut is rapidly becoming a doubles specialist.
(5)Sam Querrey vs. Daniil Medvedev
Querrey reached the quarters in Queen’s and is solid on grass, but Medvedev, who has two straight grass quarterfinals looks to be even better. This young Russian will be a threat at Wimbledon, and has already demonstrated he has the game on this surface to trouble opponents beyond the level of Querrey. Look for the #5 seed to go home.
Novak Djokovic is playing a rare 250 tournament, and he’ll begin his campaign against the Pospisil/Vesely winner. I have Edmund facing Jared Donaldson, after Edmund defeats Young, and Donaldson defeats Diego Schwartzman, Djokovic should then defeat Edmund to reach the semifinals. Despite his shaky form, Novak should at least get two wins this week given his typically solid grass court game.
Defending champion Steve Johnson sits in the section below, Johnson is no slouch on grass and should defeat Franko Skugor/Thomas Fabbiano to reach the quarterfinals. I have Medvedev emerging to face Djokovic in the semifinals though, his path is Querrey, and then the Mahut/Haase winner, the young Russian has every reason to compete for ATP points this week, and his form is better than Johnson’s.
Gael Monfils needs to preserve his health, but he should otherwise be good enough to defeat Cam Norrie or Horacio Zeballos. I have Stuttgart semifinalist Mischa Zverev defeating Ryan Harrison and Bernard Tomic, then taking out Monfils to reach the semifinals. Tomic opens against Norbert Gombos. Zverev is the most in-form player in this section, and he’s excellent on grass.
John Isner has been pedestrian this year, and I have him losing to Jeremy Chardy in round 2, after Chardy defeats Dusan Lajovic. Presuming he’s healthy, it should be a good week for Richard Gasquet. He should blitz past Frances Tiafoe, Kevin Anderson/Thomaz Bellucci, and then Chardy. Anderson could be dangerous but he hasn’t played on grass this year.
Dark Horse: Daniil Medvedev
The Russian should make the semifinals this week, and depending on how much Djokovic will try to tank to be fresh for Wimbledon he could make the final this week. Watch out for this young run to rise.
Semis Djokovic d. Medvedev
Gasquet d. Zverev
I’ll go with Djokovic although I’m not certain this week, Gasquet and Zverev is also another tough match to predict, but this should be the final four.
Final Djokovic d. Gasquet
ATP World Tour 250
June 25-July 1, 2017
Prize Money: $439,005
Top 4 seeds (who all receive first round byes) (ATP ranking in parentheses)
1: Dominic Thiem (9)
2: Paolo Lorenzi (38)
3: Fernando Verdasco (36)
4: David Ferrer (32)
First round matches to watch:
Nikoloz Basilashvili vs. Marcos Baghdatis
Baghdatis should be favored but he’s not fit and has dropped seven straight matches, Basilashvili has lost four straight but is still good enough on grass to sneak out a win in this one.
Yuichi Sugita vs. (Q)Matt Ebden
Ebden is a journeyman who is best on grass and has had some decent runs this year on the surface, Sugita has a grass challenger title and is looking to shake off the journeyman tag. This is a challenger tour level matchup, and I’ll give a fresher Sugita the slightest advantage.
Dominic Thiem will only lose this tournament if he’s trying to preserve himself for Wimbledon. It’s one of the weakest draws on tour this year, as Thiem will begin against Rogerio Dutra Silva or qualifier Ramkumar Ramanathan. Viktor Troicki should beat Carlos Berlocq and the Basilashvili/Baghdatis winner, as I have it Thiem over Troicki in the quarters.
His terrible season aside, David Ferrer should be good enough to beat Sugita/Ebden with Martin Klizan lurking in the quarters, a match where Ferrer will be favored. Klizan faces Turkey’s Marsel Ilhan, with Daniel Altmaier or Victor Estrella to follow, in yet another weak section. I’d be shocked if it wasn’t Thiem vs. Ferrer in the semis.
With Paolo Lorenzi much preferring clay, Joao Sousa becomes the defacto #2 seed, Sousa should beat Radu Albot and Lorenzi before falling to Andreas Seppi in the quarterfinals. Seppi will face qualifier Kamil Majchrzak in his ATP debut, with Janko Tipsarevic to follow. It’s been a while since Seppi was semifinal quality, but in this weak draw someone has to emerge.
Fernando Verdasco will face Steve Darcis (who beat Denis Istomin round 1), Adrian Mannarino will face Cem Ilkel or Mohamed Safwat, I have Verdasco defeating Mannarino in the strongest portion of the draw, and then putting away Seppi in the semis.
Dark Horse: Adrian Mannarino
On a fast surface Mannarino could upset Verdasco and then take this title, it’s truly up for grabs this week.
Semis Thiem d. Ferrer
Verdasco d. Seppi
As boring as it may be, I’ll go with Thiem to win the title, and Verdasco to reach the final on grass.