Reilly Opelka Wins Maiden ATP Title at New York Open Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
American Reilly Opelka triumphed in the New York Open final, defeating first time ATP finalist Brayden Schnur, a young Canadian, 6-1 6-7 7-6 in 2 hours of tennis. The final two sets were decided by 9-7 tiebreaks, with Schnur taking the second set breaker but losing the third. Opelka’s 43 aces were the difference maker as he won 88% of his first serve points (with Schnur winning almost 7 in 10 of his service points). Schnur generated no break point chances in a tight match after the runaway first set for Opelka. Schnur saved break points in two different second set service games and saved a match point to force a third set.
In the third set Schnur faced three more break points at 1-2, and despite holding on and forcing a tiebreak he couldn’t hold his nerve. Opelka squandered three more match point chances but finally went up a minibreak 8-7 and served it out 9-7 to win his first ATP title.
The result moves Opelka into the top 60 for the first time in his career, while Schnur moves to world #107, just outside the top 100 after he made the final as a qualifier.
The German pairing of Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies combined to take the doubles title against Santiago Gonzalez and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi.
Kyle Edmund came back from a set down and needed two tiebreaks to defeat veteran Gael Monfils in the Antwerp 250 final. Edmund got a walkover against Ilya Ivashka in the quarters but needed straight set wins against Albert Ramos and Richard Gasquet to make the final. It’s Edmund’s first title of 2018.
Monfils, who has suffered through a poor season, defeated Ruben Bemelmans, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (in 3 sets), Vasek Pospisil, and Diego Schwartzman to reach the final.
Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin teamed up to defeat Demoliner/Gonzalez in the doubles final.
Home hero Karen Khachanov won his second ATP title of the season, defeating Adrian Mannarino in a 6-2 6-2 drubbing. Lukas Rosol, Mirza Basic, and Daniil Medvedev also lost to Khachanov, with Medvedev dropping the semifinal match in three sets.
Mannarino blitzed past Evgeny Karlovisky, Marco Cecchinato, Egor Gerasimov, and Andreas Seppi to reach the final, continuing his credible run of results after hitting age 30.
Americans Austin Krajicek and Rajeev Ram combined to win the doubles title defeating Mirnyi/Oswald.
Young gun Stefanos Tsitsipas continued his rise on the ATP tour, defeating Ernests Gulbis 6-4 6-4, after previously scoring wins against John Millman, Philipp Kohlschreiber, and Fabio Fognini. The win is the maiden ATP title for Tsitsipas.
Gulbis making the final is a blast from the past, now 30, he reached his first ATP final since 2014. He came through qualifying then defeated Mikael Ymer, Denis Shapovalov, Jack Sock, and John Isner showing he can still be a factor at the ATP level.
Brits Luke Bambridge and Jonny O’Mara combined to win the doubles title defeating Koolhof/Daniell
7-6 6-4 was the scoreline as Roger Federer won ATP title #99, this one in his home country of Switzerland against Marius Copil after previously dropping sets against Filip Krajinovic and Gilles Simon. Federer was hot and cold this week as he also scored wins against J.L. Struff, and Daniil Medvedev. In the end though he once again lifted the trophy in Basel and now has a shot to take title 100 before the year’s end.
Copil reached his second career ATP final, as he’s had a breakthrough 2018. Copil qualified then defeated Ryan Harrison, Marin Cilic, Taylor Fritz, and Alexander Zverev to reach the final. The wins against Cilic and Zverev both of elite quality, as we should see Copil burst into the ATP top 50 next season.
Dominic Inglot and Franko Skugor defeated the Zverev brothers in the doubles final.
Tour veteran Kevin Anderson won his second ATP title of 2018, defeating Kei Nishikori in straight sets after previously defeating Nikoloz Basilashvili, Borna Coric, and Fernando Verdasco to reach the final, Jurgen Melzer surrendered a walkover in round 2. Nishikori continued his solid season with wins against Frances Tiafoe, Karen Khachanov, Dominic Thiem, and Mikhail Kukushkin. The win against Thiem was a big one as Thiem was playing in his home tournament in Vienna.
Joe Salisbury and Ken Skupski defeated Mike Bryan and Edouard Roger-Vasselin in the doubles final.
Fabio Fognini and Hyeon Chung The Stars of the Chengdu Open for 2018 Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
The ATP 250 in Chengdu, China kicks off the 2018 Asian swing on the ATP World Tour. Here is your look at all the action.
Top seed Fabio Fognini isn’t in great form but he should get past either Ruben Bemelmans, a qualifier, or Mischa Zverev in round 2. Fognini’s countryman Matteo Berrettini will be favored against qualifier Prajnesh Gunneswaran, while Matt Ebden should beat a struggling Evgeny Donskoy in round 1. I’ll back Ebden, who plays well in Asia, over Berrettini in round 2, then Fognini over Ebden in the quarterfinals.
A struggling Sam Querrey will try to find form against Guido Pella, while Taylor Fritz will be favored against Chun Hsin Tseng. Querrey faces Metz quarterfinalist Nikoloz Basilashvili in round 2, while Fritz will battle either Mikhail Kukushkin or countryman Tennys Sandgren. I’ll back Basilashvili to win the section against Fritz.
Joao Sousa faces Tim Smyczek as he looks to find form again, while Metz semifinalist Radu Albot will be favored against Vasek Pospisil. Adrian Mannarino is the favorite against the Marcos Baghdatis/Malek Jaziri winner in this section. Mannarino is in poor form though so I’ll back Jaziri to surprise and beat Baghdatis and Mannarino before falling to Albot.
Hyeon Chung will take on home favorite Ze Zhang or Yibing Wu in round 2, I’ll back Chung in that match and also against qualifier Bernard Tomic or 5 seed Gael Monfils in the quarters. Monfils just won a challenger title to find some form, and opens with qualifier Lloyd Harris, while Tomic, a qualifier, will face off with Bradley Klahn. Chung over Monfils is my pick for this section as Monfils should be fatigued.
R.I.P. Memphis Open. Long Live The Slightly Pricier New York Open Steve Fogleman, Tennis Atlantic
Last year’s news of the Memphis Open’s move to Long Island was bittersweet to me. There’s very little in the way of higher level tour tournaments in America’s Heartland, and with the demise of Memphis, that leaves just Houston, Cincinnati and a lot of America in between. The Memphis Open had been around since 1975 and finally threw in the towel due to money and a “lack of stars”. On the other hand, I thought, the New York Open: an indoor event in New York: a place for East Coast tennis junkies to get their fix in the dead of winter and a full six months away from the US Open. That has potential.
The bittersweet turned slightly more bitter than sweet when I saw the ticket prices for the newly repackaged Memphis Open. Gone are the cheap bleachers in the Volunteer State. The Big Apple has decided that fans should pay over $500 to sit in premier seating for the final rounds of the New York Open.
Like the Front Row? 1 Saturday Semifinals seat sets you back $582.25!
Perhaps we’re expecting Spike Lee, Ben Stiller and Jay-Z to show up? That would be fun.
What seemed every bit as funny as a Ben Stiller film was seeing the prices on Ticketmaster for Sunday’s qualifying opener: $148.50 (plus fees) for a front row seat at first round qualifying for an ATP 250, part of the tournament’s touted “Diamond Priority Seating”.
The last time I checked, a qualifying field for an ATP 250 is akin to a first or second round match at an ATP Challenger. The last time I checked, you could attend an ATP Challenger for free or for a very reasonable price, like $10.00. And qualifying at larger tournaments involves open seating. The US Open draws thousands to its qualifying rounds with open seating and doesn’t charge a penny in admission.
The New York Open will be doing things a little differently. All front row seats for Center Court qualifying on Sunday are $148.50 and all 2nd row seats are $73.50. Let me put that in perspective: I bought decent tickets to a Taylor Swift concert in July for less than the price of a front row ticket to qualifying at an ATP 250. And I bought front row tickets to the final performance of Ringling Brother’s “Greatest Show on Earth” last year for less than NYO qualifying.
You like your ATP 150 qualifying close up? That’ll be $181.35 a ticket, please.
The New York Open has a deal where kids can get in free with a paid adult admission for some of the week with good intentions, but when Mom and Dad are paying over $50 a seat after service charges for upper level seats and piling the family onto the Long Island Railroad, it still looks to be a $200+ afternoon. In all honesty, Memphis organizers were pretty generous too, giving thousands of free and reduced bleacher tickets away over the years to youth organizations.
Since we’re talking New York, let’s talk about Wall Street’s favorite term: return on investment. If you were smart enough to buy a weekend-long ticket to this weekend’s Fed Cup tie in Asheville, North Carolina, your $100 ticket is now going for $900 on resale sites. If you were lucky enough to buy a $348.50 front row ticket to Tuesday night’s New York Open which lasts 4 hours and was widely advertised for Hyeon Chung before his withdrawal, your return on investment is, well, makes Bitcoin look like a solid investment.
The NYCB Live event is an indoor venue and from the looks of things, a beautiful one at that. The black courts should sparkle on television. As an indoor event, however, it might appear to lack the personal touch of even larger tournaments and thus the value to fans. You’re up here and the players are down there. You’re not going to use the same walking paths that the players use and bump into them for autographs. Luckily, there are line-up autograph sessions planned. And yes, there is a second court where seating is announced as general admission, but I’m sure you’ll find the first row reserved for someone with a coat and a friend guarding their seat, just like Grandstand at the U.S. Open. If you really want to be at court level, you can buy one of 28 on-court seats on Stadium Court. But yes, that’ll be $181 for qualifying, for effectively the same experience you get at Charlottesville or Binghamton for nothing.
Courtside Qualifying, $181. Courtside Challenger, Not So Much.
Tournament organizers know all about the US Open 19 miles away and know that fans will pay beaucoup bucks for a lower level seat in Arthur Ashe. And the organizers, Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment, manage operations for the New York Islanders and the Brooklyn Nets where they understand their NHL and NBA fans, but this isn’t the NHL or the NBA and this isn’t the US Open. It’s only close as the crow flies. It’s a 250 level tournament. It’s the player field of Newport or Houston in the middle of the winter. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe New Yorkers will empty their smart wallets US Open-style for this player field and tournament, but I don’t know. New Yorkers are used to spending a little more for everything, but the vast majority of the seats I’ve described remain unsold. Hopefully, if the seats don’t sell, they’ll allow folks to move down to the front row.
Pricing aside, the whole Memphis-to-New York move is truly a double-edged sword, as Memphis lost its tournament once to Rio only to bring in the San Jose, California tournament to save Memphis (and ostensibly save San Jose, for that matter). The Memphis Open also moved the WTA Oklahoma City event under its shield and, quite possibly, saved that American tournament as well.
I’m glad that the New York Open “rescued” this tournament from becoming the bauble of an oligarch or a potentate far from American shores. A loss of any US tournament is a loss for US tennis and cheers to those who didn’t let this one get away. I just don’t want the fans to have to be oligarchs to afford a great seat.
Tennys Sandgren once mused, among other strange things, that the US Open should be moved to the South where fans are more appreciative (tweet deleted). I don’t know about that, but I do believe that a 250 is a people’s tournament, and I’d like to see good seats priced within the reach of most fans. The loss of Memphis was a powerful, crushing blow to tennis in the America far from the coastlines, and it’s hard to decide whether to celebrate the saving of an American tournament or mourning the loss of the last 250 in the Heartland. I’m sure I’ll feel better about the whole thing as soon as they start playing tennis, because here’s the kicker: I will be there through qualifying and the first round and I can’t wait to see some great ATP action in a beautifully remodeled historic arena, halfway to the U.S. Open and the unofficial kickoff to the American pro tennis year.
Organizers decided to start matches at 5 pm because of the heat so I arrived a bit earlier because they arranged a little press conference with Toni Androic, Lawrence Frankopan, Ronald Korotaj and Lord Nicholas Windsor. During the conference, Androic said something like, this year “ATP Umag” should have been named “Survivor” as the TV reality show because it’s really tough for players to compete under this sun.
Lord Nicholas Windsor (his father is the Sir that lifts the trophy at the end of Wimbledon) is enjoying his stay here and he loves Croatia as his wife was born here.
After this quick press, there was a models show organized by Lotto This video shows here you some nice models.
Later I came to the courts, finding Monfils practicing doubles with Mamata, a pretty unknown guy who he is playing doubles with here. Gael looked very relaxed, but training was very serious.
Gael Monfils practiced doubles with this guy that is supposed to be his doubles partner here: Paterne Mamata. pic.twitter.com/h24OmDEWt5
Finally, last round qualifying matches started and I decided to attend Bagnis-Trevisan as I thought this could have been a close and entertaining match.
Trevisan def. Bagnis 76 16 61
Bagnis was too erratic during first set but Trevisan had to dictate rallies with forehand because when the Argentinean was hitting cross forehand on his backhand he was often in trouble. Like yesterday, Trevisan played a great tiebreak again but it has to be said that the end was quite shocking: Bagnis served 3-6 on tiebreak, failed first serve, got angry with the umpire because ballkids were moving and hit the second serve underarm superflat on purpose in the middle of the net. What a way to end a set!
Trevisan had a break point in the first game of the second set but Bagnis saved it and then cruised, playing way better so I left the court to attend other matches. I came back with Trevisan 2-0 up in the third and the Italian was playing very solid again, serving very well and hitting huge forehands. Bagnis wasn’t playing his best, but credit to the Italian who also served a 222 kmh last serve of the match.
Fabbiano def. Gonzalez 64 64
I could watch only the end of the match, as when I arrived the Argentinean was having a medical time out for a problem to his right foot. It didn’t’ appear to be a bad injury but Fabbiano stayed focused and played really solid tennis, very deep with no unforced errors. He was so happy in the end as an ATP qualification for a player with his ranking is always a nice achievement.
Trinker def. Melzer 76 62
I arrived here on 76 31* and they were playing a very long game, with Melzer fist-pumping after every break point saved, but yesterday he didn’t serve well. Melzer looked completely dead and spent after he was broken and Trinker held very easily on *4-1. I expected Melzer to be broken here because he was really walking on court, but Trinker was not able to put a single return on court. He then held with ace, ace, ace, service winner.
Fognini def. Vesely 64 64
Night session match was the highlight of the day: Fognini-Vesely.
Umag is quite close to Italy (45 min by car from the border) so Fabio has a lot of Italians fans here and he is loved everywhere he plays because he is one of the much entertaining players on court.
From the very first rallies, you could notice that Fognini was quite relaxed and focused and he had the full control of the match. It was just a matter of time for him to take the lead. He complained with the umpire for the court conditions at the baseline (and he was right) but he never got angry as the court was adjusted during next changeover. He was almost always dictating the rallies and Vesely had a tough time looking for winners. The match appeared to be almost over with Fognini leading 64 20 and 3 straight breakpoints. Vesely saved them all with some stunning winners and ‘someone’ was worried, because you never know with Fabio. He didn’t lost control of his nerves despite a probable drunk guy in the stands cheering very loudly for Vesely. Fognini took the set, 64 and the match.
I had a quick chat with Fognini’s father (Fulvio) who always gives Fabio great support and he said he was very happy with Fabio’s performance as he never looked in danger and was physically and mentally ready to play a great tournament. He was also worried when Vesely held that 0-40 and he was very satisfied with Fabio’s reaction after he lost that game.
We even talked a bit about Trevisan and Fulvio told me that when Matteo was 18 yo he was really impressive. He could hit very hard, but Fulvio said that when you are young and you are one of the best you have to do the right choices or the guys that are behind you…pass you. He was also happy for Trevisan’s qualification as the guy really deserved bigger stages than the ITF provides.
Opponents Wilt as Qualifying Continues @CroatiaOpenUmag, Ballboy Caught Texting Stefano Berlincioni for Tennis Atlantic
Fognini Cincinnati (Photo: Dave Gertler)
Umag, Croatia July 19, 2015–Yesterday evening, I met Fabio Fognini’s father at the elevator and as soon as he saw me told me, “Stefano, it’s too hot here, I’m dying!” Fulvio Fognini is as funny as Fabio and he is right: Umag is really like hell these days. By the way, at the end of the day after the Ivanisevic-Coric exhibition, which was funny and had packed stands, I met Fabio playing darts with a friend of his and later, Bagnis arrived with Gonzalez!
Fabio congratulated Facundo for the Pan-Am Games gold medal and asked who were his opponents and if Argentina paid him for the medal. For the records, Fabio lost the 1st darts match and was saying “porcodiaz” (his typical expression) every three words, very funny and relaxed.
Today, matches surprisingly started at 11 am, a bit late in my opinion considering the insane heat.
Trinker def. Mitak 61 61
As expected, Trinker disposed very easily of the local wild card, who is no amateur but cannot compete at this level. The Austrian kept the focus for the whole match showing a good form again.
As I said in yesterdays’ report, Surchenko was absolutely not impressive yesterday but today was very pumped and played two times better than yesterday, serving much better and hitting quite hard. Melzer was a bit surprised at the beginning, but after getting broken he cruised until 6-1. He lost focus and went down 0-2 in second set, even getting a bit angry (destroyed a racquet) but managed to regroup and win quote comfortably. Not a stunning performance though.
Marcora def. Trinker 46 44 ret.
This was on paper one of the closest matches of the day. The first set was decided by a double fault of Marcora facing break point on 4-4 and he looked in control of the match, even leading by a break early in the second set. He was more solid from the baseline and very motivated, grunting loudly after every shot. In the middle of the second set, he started showing problems with his wrist/arm and began losing points with blatant errors so he decided to give up at 4-4.
Leonardi knew that his opponent would have not been so slow on court as Santiago Gonzalez yesterday and the ball speed difference was very clear from the beginning. It has to be said that Leonard played at a very decent level but Bagnis was really too much for him.
Gonzalez def. Leite 62 64
I could not watch many games of this match as I arrived in the middle of second set. Leite looked fresher and after being broken on 62 *32, he made a sign to his wife as if he was going to quit because exhausted. He kept fighting until the end of the set but was quite lucky because he managed to break Leite on 4-4 from 30-0 with the Brazilian missing a winner by one centimeter.
Trevisan def. Skugor 36 61 76
I arrived at the match at 4-1 second set and Skugor fully tanked the service game and especially the return game, not even trying to return. He was not injured though, just saving energy for the third set under Umag’s terrible Sun.
Ballkid had no balls for Trevisan because he was texting on a mobile that the guy behind him brought to him. pic.twitter.com/yprpyOL4HZ
The last set was quite entertaining with great winners from both sides as they are players who don’t like to wait for their opponent’s errors. At 3-3, Trevisan asked for a MTO because he was exhausted due to the heat and he needed more ice on his neck and head. He had a few break chances at 3-3 and he even had to save match points at 4-5. With both players almost down to no legs, the match went to a final tiebreak where Trevisan won 6 points in a row from *0-1 down, playing very aggressive and deserving the win. The Italian almost lost control of his nerves when he was serving to stay in the match because in the middle of the game, the ballkid had no balls for him to serve because he was texting on a mobile phone that a guy from the stands passed to him. A very unusual scene. He stopped texting, gave back the mobile and the guy disappeared from the stands in five seconds. Maybe some very urgent issue but still very strange.
Last little note: I attended Paolo Lorenzi practicing with Andre Sa and it was really amazing to see the intensity of Lorenzi during training.
Another day with insane heat is finished then and tomorrow, thankfully, matches will start at 5 pm.
Heat Strokes Beat Ground Strokes @CroatiaOpenUmag Qualifying Stefano Berlincioni for Tennis Atlantic
Arrived in Croatia yesterday evening and checked in with Bastian Trinker, an Austrian guy that every year comes and plays here with good support on the stands from his family.
Quick dinner where I met Thomas Fabbiano and Agustin Velotti, both apparently travelling alone. During dinner the qualifying draw came out: no big names because of Davis Cup and a lot of Challengers scheduled next week.
This morning at breakfast I saw very relaxed Brazilians Wilson Leite and Andre Sa and then I headed to the tournament.
Already in the morning at 9 we had more than 30°C so the heat will be a key factor also this year: it will not be easy for any player to play three qualifying rounds in three consecutive days under this heat.
Surchenko def. Biljesko 63 62
I attended this match because I was curious to watch the local Domagoj Biljeskos, 18 years old who was #38 as junior. He appeared sick and nervous from the very beginning as he got broken in first game of the match with 3 double faults. He has no particular weapon but was quite evident that the match was very even because Surchenko is really nothing special. Self confidence was at a very low level, which killed any hope for the local guy who played a terrible match: 17 double faults in 9 service games say it all.
Linzer def. Galovic 61 63
Another apparently one way match from the score but the match was quite close. Galovic can hit very hard and he is always unlucky with quail draws here in Umag, Unfortunately for him, Linzer was more consistent but I have to say this was the best match of the day from a quality point of view.
Marcora def. Sabry 63 62
I watched only a few rallies but Marcora appeared always in control of the match, clearly overpowering the Egyptian.
Mitak def. Sudic 61 62
Local young players out of ATP top 1500, with Mitak being clearly better but both playing quite poorly.
Velotti looked very motivated, fist pumping after every point won. He played at good level and in the first few games the match was quite close, but then the Serbian fell apart and retired for illness.
Trinker def. Viola 64 26 62
I arrived at the end of second set and the Austrian looked really spent because of the heat and I thought Viola would have won quite easily the third set. The match has been quite funny because both were looking for winners and quick rallies and no one could play long rallies under the noon Umag sun. Viola lost focus at the beginning of third set and the Austrian managed to hold until the end thanks to his big serve. The Italian tanked the last game because he had no more energy to fight.
I arrived on 63 21 and I was pretty surprised by the Croat because he was serving well and hitting decent shots from baseline. After a very long rally he went to the net and retired almost from nowhere. He also cited illness as his reason for retirement.
Leite def. Urbanja 60 63
Leite was a nightmare match-up for Urbanja who plays Umag quail every year with good local support (Slovenia being so close to Umag) but he really had no chance against the Brazilian.
The Brazilian doubles player started very well, being aggressive and consistent from baseline. Trevisan probably didn’t expect such a motivated opponent and got broken early. The match was quite good with the Italian showing his powerful forehand but also his unforced errors. He didn’t lose his head despite being 3-5 down in the first set, managed to win the next 7 games and then had just to stay focused.
Leonardi def. Gonzalez 62 64
Match was quite funny because the Mexican was barely moving from the warm-up. The Italian just had just to play consistent tennis and hit drop shots as soon as he could: Gonzalez ran as in slow motion trying to reach the ball for a couple of times and he didn’t even try on some of them. Credit to Leonardi to have played with focus, but in the second round against Bagnis his opponent will fight much more.
First round qualifying matches ended at about 2 pm and started at 11 am today. Again, it will not be easy to play under this hot sun.
This evening exhibition on Center Court with Goran Ivanisevic and friends. Last year was very funny so I expect a good show also this year.
2015 ATP Stuttgart and Den Bosch Previews and Predictions Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
The grass season begins anew for 2015 with a pair of 250 level events. Stuttgart is switching to grass from clay this year, and Den Bosch in the Netherlands is a joint ATP/WTA event again this year. After a spring on the dirt, ATP World Tour stars will feel the blades of green grass under their feet. Stay tuned to Tennis Atlantic for on-site ATP Stuttgart coverage all week.
ATP World Tour 250
June 8-June 14, 2015
Prize Money: € 574,965
Top 4 seeds (who all receive first round byes) (ATP ranking in parentheses)
1: Rafael Nadal (10)
2: Marin Cilic (9)
3: Feliciano Lopez (14)
4: Gael Monfils (16)
Stuttgart switching to grass gave them a stronger field than usual, Nadal is the top seed because he was ranked higher than Cilic at the time the seeds were drawn, though that has changed now with the new rankings. The seed cutoff is 28, as this is a strong field for a 250.
Rosol has a h2h win on grass in this matchup, Queen’s 2012, but that was a three set match. Rosol comes off a third round showing in Paris, while Baghdatis won a round at the grass Manchester challenger. Both of these guys are solid on the green stuff, as Rosol famously ball bashed to beat Nadal on this surface, and Baghdatis with his aggressive ball striking has shown his prowess before as well. I’d give Rosol a slight edge to advance with his power, but this one probably goes three sets again.
(WC)Tommy Haas vs. Mikhail Kukushkin
Tommy Haas is making his return from shoulder surgery one year since he last played a match on the ATP tour. The 37 year old remains an ageless wonder, and it was surprising after he elected to come back after another injury, in a career marked by injuries, rather than retiring. On home soil, and on grass, a surface his all court game is well suited for, he should feel comfortable, but one has to wonder how much he has left in the tank at this point in his career, coming off an injury. Kukushkin is struggling mightily, and has for most of the season, so he’s a beatable round 1 opponent.
Brown has a 2-1 h2h over the higher ranked Janowicz and he qualified without dropping set here, well recognized as a solid grass court player, as he beat Rafa Nadal on this surface in Halle previously. Janowicz, a former Wimbledon semifinalist has been struggling this season, but he will look to grass to kickstart his game. This should be a close match, but I’m going with Brown in an upset victory.
Stakhovsky with his serve and volley game can be lethal on grass, as his famous Wimbledon win over Roger Federer proved, Groth comes off of a title in the Manchester challenger, and with his massive serve, he’s likewise a dangerous player on a quick surface. This is their first meeting, and it’s a hard match to pick, I give Groth a slight edge to advance.
Rafael Nadal, struggling this season by his standards, will open with the winner of Baghdatis/Rosol in what could be a tricky opening round test on the heels of his quarterfinal defeat at the French Open. Nadal’s worst surface is grass, and he hasn’t played well on it since 2011. Rafa has a strong h2h record, including a grass win over Baghdatis (06 Wimbledon semis), while he is 1-1 on grass against Rosol, losing to at Wimbledon 2012, but winning in four sets in 2014 at the same venue. Rosol is likely to be a tougher opponent, but either way I could well see Nadal losing that, the winner is likely to face the Bernard Tomic/Tommy Haas winner in the quarterfinals. Haas/Kukushkin will face Tomic or JL Struff. Tomic is an excellent grass court player who was having a great season before he hit clay, his worst surface. I expect grass to be a rebound for him as he should beat Struff, Haase, and then Nadal to reach the semis. Nadal is not trustworthy on grass right now if you ask me, and Haas is just coming off of injury, so Tomic doesn’t seem like that bold of a pick to me.
4 seed Gael Monfils will open with Andreas Haider-Maurer or Max Marterer a 19 year old German wild card. Marterer will have a shot at a win if he can play on grass, as AHM is a clay courter, either way, Monfils should cruise into the quarters, but he will get a tough opponent there. Philipp Kohlschreiber routined Alex Dolgopolov today, and he will face the Janowicz/Brown winner. All three of these guys are dangerous on grass and given given Kohli has a 2-0 h2h over Brown, I have him facing Monfils in the quarters. Kohlschreiber has a poor h2h against Monfils overall, but one of his two wins came on grass, meaning this meeting should be exciting if it takes place. Monfils has been in pretty good form as of late, and I’m going with him to advance to the semis.
Marin Cilic will open with either Peter Gojowczyk or Matthias Bachinger in the opening round, both Germans enter via qualifying, Bachinger was a lucky loser, and Gojowczyk qualified without dropping a set. Gojo has always been a talented underachiever in my mind but Cilic, who is improving in form and reached the second week at the French, will be a strong favorite to reach the quarters. There he probably faces the Benjamin Becker/Andreas Seppi winner. 7 seed Dominic Thiem is the seed, and opens with qualifier Mischa Zverev. Thiem is extremely inexperienced on grass, and prefers clay, thus the veteran Zverev will have a shot in that one. Becker is an excellent grass court veteran, while Seppi’s all court game can be dangerous as well, I’m going with Becker to beat Seppi, and Zverev to reach the quarters, where he will likely fall to Cilic.
3 seed Feliciano Lopez, who had a remarkable season on grass last year and is at his best on the surface opens with the Groth/Stakhovsky winner, a difficult task. Lopez has been in very poor form on clay, and he’ll be under pressure to preserve ranking points now, I still think he wins that match, and beats Viktor Troicki or Borna Coric in the quarterfinals. Wild card Alex Zverev, the younger brother of Mischa and an ATP young gun more suited for clay, opens with qualifier Mate Pavic. Look for Pavic to beat Zverev, and Troicki to slip past the inexperienced young gun Coric on grass, then beat Pavic to reach the quarters.
The German with American ties, Becker, reached a grass court final last year in Den Bosch (a tournament he won in 2009), and if he can get past Seppi, Cilic could slip up in the quarters, and he could upset him as well for a spot in the semis. He’s not the only possible dark horse in the draw, but with his good serve and quality baseline game, the crafty veteran could impress.
Semis: Monfils d. Tomic Cilic d. Lopez
Tomic vs. Monfils could go either way, I’m going with Monfils based off of form though, Tomic winning this title wouldn’t surprise me. Cilic has a h2h win on grass over Lopez, his form is better, and he’s done better on fast surface h2h meetings.
It’s been a slow road back for Cilic, and Monfils has struggled to stay healthy as well. I’m finally comfortable picking Cilic to perform like the top 10 player he is capable of as he seems fit, and the rust is starting to fade. Look for him to win in Stuttgart this week.
ATP World Tour 250*
s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands
June 8-June 14, 2015
Prize Money: € 537,050
*denotes joint ATP/WTA event
Top 4 seeds (who all receive first round byes) (ATP ranking in parentheses)
1: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga*/(5) Ivo Karlovic (27)
2: David Goffin (15)
3: Roberto Bautista Agut (21)
4: Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (34)
*Top seed Tsonga pulled out after a run to the French Open semis, thus the 5 seed Ivo Karlovic becomes the 1 seed in terms of the draw.
Den Bosch isn’t as strong of a field as Stuttgart, but it’s not bad for a 250, the lack of a top 10 player makes this an open draw.
First round matchups to watch:
(WC)Lleyton Hewitt vs. (Q)Nicolas Mahut
A pair of veterans who are retiring soon, Mahut, the champion of this tournament in 2013, qualified with relative ease and he’s a solid grass court player with his serve and volley skills, while Hewitt is of course a legend who counterpunches at his best on grass, though he has played an extremely light schedule so far this year. These players met in the 2013 Newport final on grass, and Mahut prevailed in three sets, prior to that Hewitt won a pair of h2h meetings on other surfaces. It’s a tough pick in regards to the winner of this, Mahut has played more recently, and Hewitt is in serious decline at this point in his career, thus I’m going with Nico, likely in three sets.
(6)Adrian Mannarino vs. Rendy Lu
Mannarino’s versatile game is well suited for fast surfaces like grass, while Lu is a steady flat hitting baseliner who excels on fast surfaces, especially hard courts. Mannarino beat Lu this year in three sets at Delray Beach, and as the higher ranked player, he should be the favorite, having performed well on hard courts this year, that said, Lu can rise to the occasion at times though he lacks weaponry, and this should be a good match. I have Mannarino winning it.
The big serving Karlovic will face Ricardas Berankis or Tatsuma Ito in round 2, Ito qualified with ease, so I’d expect him to win that round 1 match, before falling to Karlovic who has been struggling mightily for a while, but should find some form on grass. 7 seed Fernando Verdasco should be the favorite in the top section, he opens with dirtballer Daniel Gimeno-Traver and I’d also expect him to get past Robin Haase, who beat Blaz Kavcic in straights today. Haase beat Verdasco at Wimbledon 2011, but he’s not exactly a top player these days, plus he tends to struggle on home soil under pressure. Verdasco has lost twice to Karlovic on grass, but given recent form, this time I’m picking him to advance to the semis.
Defending champion Roberto Bautista Agut will get a tough R2 match against Hewitt/Mahut, if Mahut advances, RBA should still have an edge, as he beat him in Den Bosch last year (in 3 sets). RBA hasn’t been a world beater as of late but I favor him to reach the quarters. The Mannarino/Lu winner should also reach the quarters, unless Benoit Paire or Marco Chiudinelli, one of the qualifiers, is a surprise. Chiudinelli qualified in just his second tournament of 2015, while Paire has limited abilities on grass, though his form has been improved as of late. I have Mannarino over Paire, and then RBA over Mannarino for a spot in the semis.
David Goffin will face the winner of Kenny De Schepper/Jurgen Melzer in round 2. De Schepper is a lucky loser, but he still should defeat Melzer, the struggling veteran, and he’ll have a good chance against Goffin as well, given his game isn’t as well built for grass, while De Schepper’s big serve should help him find success. The section above De Schepper/Goffin is interesting, Joao Sousa/Denis Istomin is a toss-up match, while Mikhail Youzhny was formerly good on grass, and will open with qualifier Illya Marchenko who has been in good form as of late. Sousa has been better than Istomin this year, but Istomin has a better record on grass. I have Sousa beating Youzhny in the second round, Youzhny has been in awful form this year, and even with that previous success on grass I don’t see him getting far. Goffin over Sousa is my pick in the quarters, he has a 2-1 h2h edge.
4 seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez will face Marius Copil, the Romanian wild card defeated Jarkko Nieminen in 3 sets on Monday. GGL should defeat Copil, though he comes off an opening round shock defeat at the French, but the winner of Vasek Pospisil/Gilles Muller could trouble him in the quarters. Pospisil routined the poor playing Marinko Matosevic in straights on Monday, while Muller blitzed Turkish #1 Marsel Ilhan with a bagel. Muller with his big serve is a threat on grass, as he also volleys well, and I see him defeating both Pospisil, and Garcia-Lopez to reach the semis. GGL has been a streaky player but I don’t feel his game is clicking right now.
The veteran serve and volleyer plays some of his best tennis on grass, and he looked strong today in his match. He has a draw that should open up if he can defeat Garcia-Lopez, and he well could win this tournament, as I have him reaching the final at a minimum with wins over Pospisil, Garcia-Lopez, and Goffin.
Semis: Bautista Agut d. Verdasco
Muller d. Goffin
It’s a coin flip between RBA and Verdasco if they meet in the semis, a 1-1 h2h and both have been streaky on grass before, RBA is higher ranked, both have huge forehand, and I’m going with RBA in my own bracket. Muller should defeat Goffin given this is grass.
Going with a non-seed to take the title in Den Bosch, it’s happened previously and RBA lost to Muller in the AO this year. On a slick fast surface, Muller’s serve and volley should be a deadly combination, and I have the veteran winning a title this week.
2015 ATP Nice and Geneva Previews, Predictions Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
The final week on the ATP tour before the 2015 French Open in Paris will feature a pair of clay 250 level tournaments. Nice in France is back yet again with its intimate venue, and Geneva is making it’s debut on tour this year as well. The Swiss city previously hosted a quality, and successful challenger tournament, and with the success of Swiss tennis over the last decade, it’s a well deserved promotion as it takes the place of Dusseldorf, Germany on the calendar. Dusseldorf met it’s demise soon after the World Team Cup format came to an end.
2015 ATP Nice Preview
Open de Nice Cote d’Azur
ATP World Tour 250
May 17-May 23, 2015
Prize Money: € 439,405
Top 4 seeds (who all receive first round byes) (ATP Rankings in parentheses)
1: Gilles Simon (12)
2: John Isner (17)
3: Ernests Gulbis (22)
4: Leonardo Mayer (25)
With a seed cutoff of 36 Nice has a pretty good field for a pre-slam tournament, that said, the top 4 seeds are either poor on clay or slumping, so unseeded players will have a great chance this week to excel.
First round matchups to watch:
(8)Juan Monaco vs. Benoit Paire
Both of these guys are streaky players who were formerly near the top of the ATP tour, but have slid down to being fringe to mid-tier ATP players who rarely threaten for titles, even in 250 level events. Monaco, the veteran has encountered some tough draws in the spring clay court season and thus his record stands at an even 4-4. Paire is 3-3 in main draws this spring on clay, and has bounced around qualifying as well. They have an even 1-1 h2h on clay with both matches going three sets, and any way you slice it, this is a tough match to predict. That said, Monaco seems to be the superior player in form and focus over Paire as of late, and thus he’s the favorite. Paire is likely to produce more highlights, but Monaco has the steadier groundstroke game.
Victor Estrella vs. Dominic Thiem
Estrella rolled past Thiem in straights when they met in Barcelona not too long ago, and now we will see if he can repeat that result in Nice. Thiem has been improving over his past two tournaments going 4-2 in Rome and Munich, after consecutive losses to start the European spring clay court season. The Austrian has had a streaky and unpredictable year, and it’s still a question as to what type of form he will show up to this tournament in. The remarkable veteran Estrella has far less upside than Thiem but he’s maximized the talent he does have as he’s also 4-2 over his last six on clay with a win over Marin Cilic his most notable in that span. Once again, this is a 50/50 proposition, but I’d give Thiem the slightest of edges to advance if he continues to play as he did in Rome.
Gilles Simon, the top seed, and a home favorite, is likely to get his tournament started against Thanasi Kokkinakis, as the young Aussie should dispatch his countryman James Duckworth, an opponent who struggles on clay. Kokkinakis has been on a relative roll on clay this Spring, with strong under the radar performances. The teenager is currently in the final of the Bordeaux Challenger and he qualified in both Istanbul and Madrid, all of those tournaments on clay of course. That said, he should be too fatigued to give Simon much of a problem, and thus expect the Frenchman to at least reach the quarters presuming his health has returned to him after retiring in Rome.
Bernard Tomic and Borna Coric will vie for supremacy in the section below Simon, with the Croat the likely quarterfinalist. Both will open with qualifiers as Tomic looks to snap a four match losing streak. The Aussie has cooled off after a strong start to the season, though that had to be expected given he’s not at his best on clay, while Coric continues to build up results as a young gun, and he should reach his second clay quarterfinal of the season (also did so in Estoril), with wins over a qualifier and Tomic. Presuming he faces and defeats Tomic, that would avenge his loss to him in Indian Wells on hard court this year.
I’m picking Coric over Simon to reach the semis, Simon retired in his last match in Rome, and Coric took a set off of him on indoor hard in Marseille this year. Clay should give Borna a slight edge and Simon may not be fit after a so-so spring clay season.
The partisan French crowd should be rooting for young gun Lucas Pouille, a potential dark horse in the draw, to give the 4 seed Leonardo Mayer a whipping in the second round. Pouille will open with American Tim Smyczek, who is not comfortable on clay, and should he upset Mayer, he would be grabbing the spotlight after last making waves in January where he reached his first ATP semi in Auckland. The Frenchman has put together a solid clay court record this spring on a mix of challenger and ATP events, and he notably defeated Dominic Thiem in Monte Carlo. Mayer is just 3-4 on clay this Spring, and I have Pouille notching the upset to reach the quarterfinals.
The winner of Paire/Monaco is the likely quarterfinalist in the last section on the top half, Sam Querrey/qualifier are not an imposing second round opponent, and I’d also favor Monaco over Pouille to reach the semis. Juan dispatched Pouille at the French last year without dropping a set.
John Isner may well face Steve Johnson again, if the American can beat a qualifier. Isner beat Johnson 4 and 4 in Monte Carlo this year and given he’s 7-4 on clay this year and Johnson is just 2-4, he has the decided edge to reach the quarters. He could well face American Jack Sock in that quarterfinal, if Jack continues to compete hard and impress. He’ll need a revenge win over Dusan Lajovic, who he lost to at the French last year, in the opening round, but the Houston champ, who has lost a pair of tough matches in a row to solid clay court players Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and Simon, should be the favorite to do that given Lajovic, though he qualified in Rome, hasn’t done much on clay this year. The winner of Maxime Hamou, a French wild card, vs. Pablo Carreno Busta will decide who the winner of Sock/Lajovic will face. The 19 year old Hamou recently reached a challenger semi, and he’s also scored himself a Roland Garros main draw wild card while PCB was a semifinalist in Estoril, but has been abysmal most of this season. I’d give Hamou a chance, but Sock should beat Lajovic and PCB to reach the quarters.
Isner has beaten Sock twice on clay, including in Nice last year, and given the 4-1 h2h I’m pretty comfortable picking the higher ranked American to reach the semis, even though a Sock win wouldn’t come as shock.
It’s more than likely the defending champion Ernests Gulbis will see his hopes continue to be dashed, this time Gulbis is likely to lose to Alex Dolgopolov in the second round, presuming Dolgo beats his countryman Sergiy Stakhovsky. They have a split 2-2 h2h and Dolgo qualified and won a round in Rome, while Stako has been struggling. Gulbis is 2-1 in the h2h, with all of their matches on clay against Dolgopolov, and both are unpredictable but Gulbis has been having one of the worst seasons for a top 20 player in recent memory as he’s on another 5 match losing streak and is just 1-11 this year. Going back to the challenger tour still seems like the wisest option for the Latvian.
The section above Dolgopolov/Gulbis is the strongest in the draw as it features title contenders Estrella/Thiem, and also Nick Kyrgios, who will open with Mikhail Kukushkin. Kyrgios has had an extremely impressive clay court season with an ATP final, success in doubles in Rome, and a win over Federer in Madrid. That said I see a Thiem-Dolgopolov quarterfinal, as I’m unsure Kyrgios can sustain his success against the Thiem/Estrella winner. I’m going with a Thiem-Isner semifinal, simply because I trust an in-form Dom on clay more than anyone else in this section Should he fail to perform however, Estrella, Kyrgios, or Dolgo should pick up the slack and reach the semis.
He’s in the weaker top half of the draw with a questionable Simon, and a struggling Tomic thus he can very well reach the semis, and his semifinal opponent is unlikely to be that daunting of a challenge whether it’s Mayer/Pouille or Monaco/Paire. He has a solid shot at winning his first ATP title this week, and the young gun clearly has the game to do it presuming he can put it all together this week.
Monaco d. Coric
Isner d. Thiem
I’m picking Monaco simply because I feel he’s played slightly better on clay as of late, and the same goes for Isner. A reverse result wouldn’t surprise me at all, but Isner, has shockingly put together the best clay court season of anyone in this tournament.
Isner and Monaco have met twice on clay before with a split h2h, and going back to what I said previously, Isner has actually been best on clay of anyone in this tournament, thus I shockingly have an American winning a title on clay in Europe this week.
2015 ATP Geneva Preview
ATP World Tour 250
May 17-May 23, 2015
Prize Money: € 439,405
Top 4 seeds (who all receive first round byes) (ATP Rankings in parentheses)
1: Stan Wawrinka (9)
2: Marin Cilic (10)
3: Pablo Andujar (43)
4: Benjamin Becker (44)
Geneva is strongly tilted towards the top 2 seeds as the seed cutoff is 61, and the rest of the field is pedestrian at best for this maiden tournament.
First round matchups to watch:
Federico Delbonis vs. Teymuraz Gabashvili
On paper this is not a marquee matchup, and it may even be pushed to the secondary court but these two grinders have a split 1-1 h2h on clay and both have won challenger tournaments on the surface recently. Delbonis won Sarasota, though he has failed to qualify for both Madrid and Rome. Gabashvili has been on a tear on the challenger tour as he has won 10 straight matches, and consecutive challenger titles on two surfaces. The competition hasn’t been harsh, but he’s still showing some of his best tennis, as he also reached the quarters in Houston (upset Isner) and qualified for Istanbul. Fatigue should be a factor, and that’s the main reason as to why Delbonis would have the edge, but I’m going with Gabashvili to continue the positive momentum myself.
Jarkko Nieminen vs. (WC)Andrey Rublev
Another fantastic opportunity for the young gun Russian to grab another ATP main draw win, the multi tool Rublev who has 4 ATP maindraw wins at just 17 has been given a wildcard and matched up against the veteran Nieminen, who doesn’t like clay that much. The Fin hasn’t won consecutive matches since January and he’s in the twilight of his career, thus I’m going with an upset and picking Rublev over the lefty. He’s played well under pressure this year and he’s proven he can compete at this level.
Rome semifinalist Stan Wawrinka is the shining star on home soil at this tournament and he’s unlikely to have any trouble against Rendy Lu/qualifier in his first match. Lu has been playing hard court tennis in Asia, and thus should be jetlagged and unprepared, giving the qualifier a decided edge to advance. Wawrinka has struggled at times this year, but his form picked up in Rome and he should also be favored over Gabashvili/Delbonis, or perhaps Andreas Haider-Maurer who has put together a solid 2015 campaign thus far. AHM has a h2h win over Gabashvili and he has a semi a quarterfinal on clay this year. In my own bracket I have Wawrinka defeating AHM for a spot in the semis.
Pablo Andujar will open with Carlos Berlocq or a qualifier, Berlocq is 2-1 against Andujar on clay, but he has lost three consecutive matches, Andujar made that shock run to the Barcelona final, but has done little else of note this season. I have Andujar into the quarters in a toss up match, and he’s likely to get an easy quarterfinal opponent as well, given all of the potential options are struggling right now. Joao Sousa should defeat his nearly named doppleganger Joao Souza, Souza has lost 6 straight matches while Sousa is a poor 4-6 on clay himself this spring. Austrian veteran Jurgen Melzer could suffer another bad loss to a qualifier in the other match in this section, Melzer has been in abysmal form, and thus I have Andujar reaching the semis over Sousa, though a qualifier has great odds at success in this poor quality section.
Marin Cilic will open with the Nieminen/Rublev winner, the Croat is just 1-3 since reaching the Monte Carlo quarters, and Rublev could pull off a shocking result, still Cilic is the odds on favorite to reach the quarterfinals at least. Above the Cilic section is one of the weakest ATP quarters you will see on tour this year featuring Mikhail Youzhny as the seed, J.L Struff, Ricardas Berankis, and Santiago Giraldo. Youzhny is practically retired and is just 2-4 on European spring clay, Struff comes off one of his best results of a poor season with a semi in a clay challenger in Germany, Berankis is just 1-5 on spring Euro clay and Giraldo has lost three straight and continues to struggle this year. Nobody really deserves to reach a quarterfinal form this section, but I’m picking Struff to do so simply because he played well in Heilbronn. Giraldo should beat Berankis, and Struff should beat Youzhny, and then Struff should beat Giraldo, though Santi may have more upside. Even a rusty Cilic should dispatch Struff in the quarters.
Albert Ramos is the favorite for the quarterfinals in the section above that, Ramos will face Marinko Matosevic first, and then the seed Benjamin Becker, both of whom are very poor on clay, and both of whom have lost more than 5 matches in a row. Ramos qualified in both Madrid and Monte Carlo, and he’s an actual dirtballer who hits with high spin. Thomaz Bellucci is the probable favorite to be the final quarterfinalist, though Janko Tipsarevic could sneak in on his comeback tour. The Serb will open with a struggling Denis Istomin and his .500 record since returning to tour after an absence of a year and a half is admirable. Presuming he’s getting better each tournament, we’ll see what happens in Geneva. Bellucci will open with Marcos Baghdatis who is poor on clay and he’s a tremendous 9-3 over his last three tournaments. Look for Bellucci to defeat Tipsarevic, and then Ramos and reach the semis. Ramos and Bellu has never played, and Tipsy and Bellu split meetings on clay in their previous h2h. A semifinal for Bellucci would be well deserved after his great efforts over the past month, he even took a set off of Novak Djokovic in Rome.
Given Bellucci is probably the third favorite to win the tournament, if not the second, he’s the obvious choice for dark horse in Geneva. With a weak draw, that should feature a beatable semifinal opponent, be it Cilic or someone else the Brazilian could reach his sixth ATP final, and his first since 2012. He qualified in both Madrid and Rome, along with reaching the quarters in Istanbul as of late, and he took a set off Djokovic as mentioned, along with scoring a top 20 win over Roberto Bautista Agut in Rome. Wawrinka will be a tough opponent in the final, but I do have him getting that far this week.
Wawrinka d. Andujar
Bellucci d. Cilic
Wawrinka is 3-0 in the h2h against Andujar, with all of those wins coming on clay, and given his form perked up in Rome, there are fewer question marks about him going into this lower tier 250 event on home soil. The local hero should make the tournament, the fans, and his sponsors happy by reaching the final.
Bellucci has been in better recent form than Cilic, and that’s why I’m picking him to reach the final.
Wawrinka d. Bellucci
Wawrinka has previously lost to Bellucci on clay, and the prospect of losing again to him isn’t out of the question, that said, Stan was impressive in Rome, and he should be motivated to be the first champion of this tournament. He’s far from a lock, but still the above board favorite to capture this title going into Roland Garros.
The 2015 edition of the Estoril Open concluded, with Richard Gasquet crowned as the champion in his third shot in a Portuguese final, after final losses in 2007 and 2012 to Djokovic and Del Potro. It was Gasquet’s 12th career title out of 24 finals at the ATP level, and it has gotten him closer to getting back into the top 20. It’s also his second title of 2015.
The match was not one of historical significance, Gasquet was as relentlessly consistent as he had been all week, barely giving away any free points, while Kyrgios didn’t serve as well as in his previous matches and was almost invariably the first to make an error in long exchanges. The young Aussie didn’t have a good debut in ATP finals but this will likely only be the first of many for him and he will have plenty of chances to make amends for this result. It was still a fantastic week for Kyrgios, who’s now closing in on a top 32 spot for Roland Garros, which would get him seeded at a Slam for the first time ever.
Both players will now head to Madrid, where tough draws await them, in the first round Kyrgios will get Gimeno-Traver and Gasquet will get Karlovic but should they win that Federer and Berdych (respectively) will be waiting for them. For Kyrgios, playing right after reaching an ATP final is a new challenge as well and we’ll have to see how he responds to it.
Overall, the 2015 edition of the Estoril Open can be considered a success; with a new venue and organization, the tournament still ran pretty smoothly and it saw some fantastic matches during the week, especially the semifinal between Gasquet and Garcia-Lopez. It also saw the first final appearance of a player who could very well end up being great in Nick Kyrgios. The final was a bit disappointing due to how one-sided it was, but the tournament was still a success.
Gasquet d. Kyrgios 6-3 6-2
Huey/Lipsky d. Lopez/Marrero 6-1 6-4- the #2 seed team beat the #1 seed team in routine fashion to win the doubles title.