2016 ATP Bastad Preview and Predictions
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
The ATP tour returns to clay with a 250 level stop in Sweden. Here is your preview with predictions.
Skistar Swedish Open
ATP World Tour 250
July 11-17, 2016
Prize Money: €463,520
Top 4 seeds (who all receive first round byes) (ATP ranking in parentheses)
1: David Ferrer
2: Joao Sousa
3: Albert Ramos
4: Marcel Granollers
First round matchups to watch:Embed from Getty Images
Albert Montanes vs. Elias Ymer
The Swedish home favorite will face the battling Spanish veteran in a match that could go either way. Both have had shown decent form at the challenger level, but have been poor in ATP play. I favor Ymer, a rising talent, because he’s playing at home.
David Ferrer is the top seed. After facing a qualifier, he should get either Aljaz Bedene or Dustin Brown in a routine quarterfinal matchup. Bedene opens with wild card Isak Arvidsson, while Brown faces a struggling Daniel Munoz De La Nava. Given this is clay, Ferrer over Bedene is my pick. Although Ferrer struggled at Wimbledon, he’s set to improve on clay against this weak Bastad field.Embed from Getty Images
Albert Ramos, an RG quarterfinalist, looks set to reach the quarterfinals, although Roberto Carballes Baena could trouble him in round 2, presuming he defeats Michael Berrer in round 1. Both are dirtballers, though Ramos has a better resume. Karen Khachanov/Evgeny Donskoy and Andrea Arnaboldi/Marco Trungelliti are also in this section for the quarterfinals. Based off recent challenger form, Trungelliti over Khachanov in round 2 is my pick before Ramos beats one of them for the semifinal spot.Embed from Getty Images
A decent clay courter, Joao Sousa should defeat either Swedish wild card Fred Simonsson or Carl Soderlund to reach the quarterfinals. Horacio Zeballos is likely to be opposite him at that stage, as Zeballos opens with Taro Daniel, with Gastao Elias or a qualifier in round 2. Zeballos just won the Bastad challenger and is in good form, thus I have him reaching the quarterfinals, but falling to Sousa to fatigue at that stage.Embed from Getty Images
The Montanes/Ymer winner will face Fernando Verdasco or a qualifier, with Verdasco favored to win that match and end up opposite Facundo Bagnis or Marcel Granollers in the quarterfinals. Bagnis will need to defeat a struggling Jurgen Zopp in round 1. I have Granollers over Verdasco, after he defeats Bagnis. The Spaniard has been in better recent form than his countryman, and Verdasco could even lose to Montanes or Ymer in round 2.Embed from Getty Images
Dark Horse: Horacio ZeballosEmbed from Getty Images
Given his recent success in Bastad’s challenger, he could get through his section and upset Sousa, the weakest top 4 seed on clay, to reach the semifinals. The Argentine has shown flashes of talent and promise, but has failed to cement himself as a regular on the ATP tour through the years.
Ferrer d. Ramos
Granollers d. Sousa
Ramos has never defeated Ferrer, while Sousa has a win over Granollers this year on clay, but I feel Marcel is the stronger player at the moment, this pair have a heated history.
Ferrer d. Granollers
Despite Ferrer’s recent poor play, he’s still the tournament favorite for this small 250. He desperately needs some confidence boosting wins.