Former Champs John Isner and Nick Kyrgios The Top Seeds at ATP Atlanta 2018
Steen Kirby,Tennis Atlantic
The 2018 US Open Series kicks off in Atlanta as top caliber ATP Tennis returns stateside with the 250 stop in the tennis capital of the American South. Here is your full preview, with predictions.
John Isner is seeking a 5th Atlanta Open title, the defending champion is doing so from a career high #8 ranking. His first match should come against Alex De Minaur or lucky loser Hubert Hurkacz, both are promising players, but Isner’s serve on the Atlanta hard courts should be too much for them.Embed from Getty Images
Local favorite Emil Reinberg (University of Georgia), faces tour veteran Mikhail Youzhny in the opening round. Newport semifinalist Tim Smyczek drew Nottingham champion Mischa Zverev with Zverev most likely to go through to face Isner in the quarters, with Isner a heavy favorite.Embed from Getty Images
American young gun Frances Tiafoe will begin against Marius Copil, with Alex Bolt or Marcos Baghdatis waiting on deck. Tiafoe has had the best season of his career already and should ease past Copil and Bolt to reach the quarters.Embed from Getty Images
Now 30, Matt Ebden has gotten himself to the point he’s now a top 4 seed in an ATP tournament. Ebden will have a tough test against either big serving Ivo Karlovic or a struggling Donald Young in round 2. Karlovic is in the twilight of his career and hasn’t had a good season, so Ebden should be a slight favorite in his section with Tiafoe winning their quarterfinal to reach the semis.
Nick Kyrgios won the 2016 title in Atlanta, to reach that stage again he’ll likely have to get past his friend and countryman Thanasi Kokkinakis, presuming Kokkinakis defeats fellow qualifier Noah Rubin in round 1. Kyrgios when healthy is hard to stop so he should get past Kokkinakis and also Jeremy Chardy (or Cam Norrie) in the quarters. Chardy opens with Ricardas Berankis, while Norrie drew a struggling Malek Jaziri.Embed from Getty Images
A finalist last year, Ryan Harrison faces James Duckworth in his opening match this year in dire need of a form boost. Harrison should beat Duckworth but Lukas Lacko presents a tougher challenge. Lacko draws Prajnesh Gunneswaran in round 1. I have Harrison going through to the quarters against Hyeon Chung.
Chung, when fit, has already shown what a dangerous player he can be. The Korean #1 faces Taylor Fritz or Ramkumar Ramanathan in round 2. Fritz should beat a tired Ramanthan but Chung will be favored to reach the semis.
Isner d. Tiafoe
Kyrgios d. Chung
Isner will be a heavy favorite to retain his Atlanta title after the great run at Wimbledon, while Kyrgios, Tiafoe, and Chung look to steel themselves for a good hard court summer in North America.
Isner d. Kyrgios