Grigor Dimitrov, and French Stars Lucas Pouille and Richard Gasquet Lead Weakened Field at ATP Dubai
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
The 2018 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships are a 500 level stop in Dubai on outdoor hard courts. Normally an event on the elite side of the 500 level, the field is relatively weak this year, opening up opportunities for ranking points and prize money for players outside of the top 10. Here is your full preview, with predictions.
Top seed Grigor Dimitrov has put together a solid season thus far. He should defeat local favorite Malek Jaziri, and either Robin Haase or Quentin Halys to reach the quarters. Philipp Kohlschreiber has an advantage to reach the quarters in his section. Kohli hasn’t had a great 2018, but Gleb Sakharov is his first opponent, then Mikhail Kukushkin or Stefanos Tsitsipas, both of whom are struggling. Kohli over the young Greek is my pick, with Dimitrov reaching the semis.Embed from Getty Images
Roberto Bautista Agut is looking to get back on track against Florian Mayer first up, with Joao Sousa or Pierre-Hugues Herbert to follow. RBA should be good enough to reach the quarters. The section featuring Richard Gasquet vs. Borna Coric and Benoit Paire vs. Yoshihito Nishioka is the strongest of the draw. Paire and Gasquet have both been solid this year, and Coric has potential. I’ll go with Gasquet over Paire in round 2, with Gasquet knocking off RBA in the quarters.Embed from Getty Images
Ernests Gulbis has qualified for two ATP tournaments this year. He’ll open with Marseille finalist Lucas Pouille. Given the fatigue factor, I’ll go with Gulbis to upset Pouille and also defeat Karen Khachanov, who is coming off a big title in Marseille. Khachanov opens with Denis Istomin. Yuichi Sugita or J.L. Struff should benefit big time in this section. Sugita opens with an in-form Ilya Ivashka, who reached his first ever ATP semi in Marseille. Struff faces a struggling Andreas Haider-Maurer. I’ll back Struff over Sugita and Gulbis in consecutive matches to reach the semis.Embed from Getty Images
Yannick Maden is moving his way up the ATP rankings but Marseille quarterfinalist Damir Dzumhur should defeat him in the opening round. Evgeny Donskoy reached quarters in Delray Beach and should defeat Blaz Kavcic. I’ll back Dzumhur to reach the quarters from that section.Embed from Getty Images
Filip Krajinovic faces Thomas Fabbiano, then Marcos Baghdatis or Viktor Troicki. The younger Serbian should get past Fabbiano and Baghdatis, then fall to Dzumhur in the quarters.
Dimitrov d. Gasquet
Dzumhur d. Struff
This should be Dimitrov’s week. Gasquet has a shot as well. The bottom half is relatively open, but I’ll back Dzumhur to get to the final before falling to Grisha.
Dimitrov d. Dzumhur