Grass Court Season Kicks off With Libema Open 250 in the Netherlands
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
If you are tired of the red clay, you’re in for a treat starting Monday. The ATP grass court season begins with the 250 stop in the Netherlands that is a joint event with the WTA. Here is your look at the field with predictions for the week ahead.
The second round match between Frenchmen Adrian Mannarino and Jeremy Chardy looks to be a great one. Chardy has to defeat Guillermo Garcia-Lopez first to get there. I’ll go with Mannarino to find his form back on a faster surface and reach the quarters. At that stage Italy’s Andreas Seppi should be his opponent. Seppi will need to edge Mackenzie McDonald and Vasek Pospisil or Alex Bolt to get that far. Mannarino is my pick to reach the semis.
Matt Ebden is my dark horse pick this week. Pierre-Hugues Herbert comes off a doubles final in Paris and Gilles Muller is struggling (his round 1 and 2 opponents). Presuming he beats Muller he should defeat fellow journeyman Yuichi Sugita in the quarters. Sugita gets Nikoloz Basilashvili in round 1 (he struggles on grass), with Marius Copil or Aljaz Bedene to follow, both beatable opponents.Embed from Getty Images
Bottom Half:Embed from Getty Images
Tournament favorite Richard Gasquet draws Evgeny Donskoy or qualifier Franko Skugor in round 2. Gasquet should win and also defeat Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarters. The Greek opens with local wild card Tallon Griekspoor, Malek Jaziri or Max Purcell will follow.
Ivo Karlovic vs. Robin Haase looks like a crucial round 1 match. I’ll back the struggling veteran Karlovic to win that and also defeat Marcos Baghdatis or Bernard Tomic to reach the quarters. Tomic has a great chance in theory, but he’s far from consistent these days. Look for Karlvoic to face Daniil Medvedev in the quarters. Medvedev is good on grass and should upset Fernando Verdasco in round 2 after defeating Yuki Bhambri in round 1. I’ll back Karlovic to reach the semis.Embed from Getty Images
Mannarino d. Ebden
Gasquet d. Karlovic
Mannarino beating Gasquet would be an upset but I’m not convinced Gasquet’s entirely fit and Mannarino is the type of player who badly needs points at the faster court tournaments like this.
Mannarino d. Gasquet