2013 @USOpen Men’s Qualifying Preview, Predictions, Picks #USO13
Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com
128 players, all ranked outside the top 100, but still quite talented, will vie for the 16 main draw qualies spots on the men’s side of the final slam of the year. It’s the US Open at the BJK National Tennis Center! Qualifying action runs all this week in Flushing.
Top 16 qualifying seeds (32 seeds total)
1: Federico Delbonis
2: Ivo Karlovic
3: Jesse Huta Galung
4: Martin Alund
5: Alejandro Gonzalez
6: Somdev Devvarman
7: Julian Reister
8: Marc Gicquel
9: Joao Souza
10: Teymuraz Gabashvili
11: Wayne Odesnik
12: Marius Copil
13: Blaz Kavcic
14: Matt Ebden
15: Alex Kuznetsov
16: Diego Sebastian Schwartzman
First round matchups to watch:
(2)Ivo Karlovic vs. (wc)Mackenzie McDonald
Dr. Ivo will seek to qualify here and his first match will be against the young American who took Cincy by storm, MacKenzie McDonald. McDonald, of course, qualified there and will be going to UCLA to pursue college tennis. Karlovic should still be a pretty heavy favorite but McDonald knows how to pull upsets.
Greg Jones vs. Nick Kyrgios
Hard serving Aussie Greg Jones will take on his young countryman Nick Kyrgios, who is on the rise and has made some noise, but hasn’t played a tournament match since Junior Wimbledon. Still, with 2 futures titles under his belt this year and other accomplishments including making the 2nd round of Roland Garros, the Aussie has both talent and prowess on hard courts.
(30)Peter Gojowcyzk vs. Tennys Sandgren
Gojowcyzk, who is at a career high ranking of 146 at the age of 24, has made 2 challenger semis and a challenger final so far this year, proving himself to be a consistent performer across surfaces. Sandgren who has been good at times but has not had the best of years. He will be playing in front of American fans on his preferential hardcourts. Gojo should be a favorite but this could go either way.
Peter Polansky vs. Dan Evans
Polansky gave Kei Nishikori a battle at the Rogers Cup and is a reasonable baseline hardcourter. Polansky will do battle with Evans, who reached his career high ranking this month (169) and is coming off 2 straight hard court challenger finals. Polansky has more experience, but I have to think Evans the Brit is the favorite here.
First Quarter Preview and Prediction
The top seed Federico Delbonis is sort of a clay courter, meaning the unseeded Mikhail Kukushkin will have a great chance at an upset out of the gate, as Kuku has proven himself to be solid enough on fast courts when healthy. 22-year-old Bosnian Mirza Basic, who beat Jerzy Janowicz in Halle this year, should get past Argentine veteran Eduardo Schwank and be the next opponent.
In round 3 qualies, the serve only Sam Groth/Hiroki Moriya/Maxime Teixeira or Jesse Levine are the options in a sort of unpredictable section.
The Karlovic/McDonald winner will play Boris Pashanski or Facundo Bagnis and then one of Agustin Velotti/Henri Laaksonen/Guilherme Clezar/Andrey Golubev. Laaksonen has played some ATP level matches this year and may be one to watch.
Jesse Huta Galung is at a career high ranking of 99 (just missing the US Open cutoff) and has won 4 challengers this year, in addition to a challenger final and a challenger semi this year. The Dutchman won 2 of those titles on hard courts and has a versatile game. He plays veteran Florent Serra to open, then Ze Zhang or Austrian veteran Martin Fischer in Round 2.
In Round 3, it should be Huta Galung against fellow accomplished challenger player Andrej Martin, if Martin beats David Guez and Di Wu/Josselin Ouanna. Ouanna has struggled this year.
Qualifies: Huta Galung
Clay courter Martin Alund plays Igor Kunitsyn, who is normally good on hard courts but has had a very quiet year not playing since Wimbledon. The winner gets Phillip Petzschener or American Gage Brymer, who is up and coming and was awarded a wild card. Petzschener has a good chance here but he has not been healthy and has not played since Wimbledon.
In Round 3, the opponent will be Farrukh Dustov/Jared Donaldson/Evgeny Korolev/Ilya Marchenko. This is a wide open section really, but Dustov has had good recent form.
Second Quarter Preview and Prediction
Alejandro Gonzalez is nearing the top 100 and is at a career high ranking at the age of 24. He has had a great year on both clay and hard courts at the challenger level with 3 titles, 1 final and 2 challenger semis. He plays Marcel Granollers’ brother Gerard and then Dennis Novikov or Andrea Arnaboldi.
In Round 3, the opponent will be one of Facundo Arguello/Daniel Munoz/Dusan Lojda/Rogerio Dutra Silva. Munoz has experience while Arguello has struggled off of clay.
Somdev Devvarman will face Fabiano De Paula in his first match, then Robby Ginepri/Giovanni Lapenntti. Ginepri has still been struggling and Devvarman has been inconsistent, but they both should face each other given this is hard courts.
In Round 3, Matthias Bachinger/Steve Diez/James Ward/Jonathan Eysseric are the options. Wardy is a sometimes solid hard courter, while Bachinger prefers clay in what is an open section.
Julian Reister will face his countryman Tim Puetz and then Gerald Melzer or Virginia’s Jarmere Jenkins. Reister has had a good year but he prefers clay, and Jenkins has an underdog chance to get through at least the first 2 rounds (Melzer is also a clay courter).
Mischa Zverev will play Uladzimir Ignatik before Thomas Fabbiano or Antonio Veic for a spot in Round 3 qualies. Reister and Jenkins have chances, but even though Zverev has struggled, I still make him a slight favorite.
Veteran Frenchman Marc Gicquel gets Thiago Alves before Matt Barton or Donald Young. Young has struggled, Gicquel is not hot, and Barton has been poor outside of Australia, while Alves is a clay courter.
The winner of a section containing Jimmy Wang/Guido Andreozzi/Karol Beck/Victor Estrella will be the Round 3 opponent. Wang and Young are probably co-favorites here as the rest are clay courters, way out of form or less talented players.
Third Quarter Preview and Prediction
Joao Souza takes on Maxime Authom and then the Jones/Kyrgios winner. Round 3 options are Cedrik-Marcel Stebe/Malek Jaziri/Marton Fuscovics/Olivier Rochus. Rochus has experience of course. Authom, Stebe and Kyrgios have talent, while Jaziri is a veteran. My money is on Kyrgios here assuming he is healthy. He has a lot of talent and has already proven his mental strength.
Veteran Teymuraz Gabashvili will face fellow vet Frank Dancevic in a pretty evenly matched Round 1 match. The winner gets Pierre-Hugues Herbert or Maximiliano Estevez. Herbert has talent but has not really had a breakthrough this year.
Round 3 options are Yuichi Sugita/Laurent Rochette/Damir Dzumhur/Tatsuma Ito. Dzumhur has had a decent year on the challenger circuit but I think the section comes down to Gabashvili or Dancevic. Dancevic has been better over the summer hardcourts, so edge to him.
Wayne Odesnik will face Swiss veteran Marco Chiudinelli, with the winner getting Rik De Voest or young American Bjorn Fratangelo. In Round 3, the young American Mitchell Krueger, the young Frenchman Lucas Pouille or the Gojowcyzk/Sandgren winner are the options. Gojowcyzk or Chiudinelli should be the favorites here.
Marius Copil, who has had a good year, will play clay court specialist Jan Hernych before Jeff Dadamo/Guillermo Olaso, while one of Miroslav Mecir/Riccardo Bellotti/Austin Krajicek/Go Soeda await. Copil won a challenger on hard courts this year and has 2 challenger finals to his name. At a career high ranking inside the top 130, I say he is the favorite here, though Hernych has an outside chance.
Fourth Quarter Preview and Prediction
Blaz Kavcic, who has been over in Europe on clay, faces Marsel Ilhan in Round 1 and then Radu Albot or Adrian Menendez in Round 2. Evans/Polansky, Flavio Cipolla or Bobby Reynolds, who just lost in Winston-Salem are 3rd round options. Kavcic, Evans and Polansky could all qualify, but given their recent form I’ll go with Evans.
Matt Ebden faces Oleksandr Nedovyesov before meeting the winner of Amir Weintraub/Noah Rubin. Weintraub is a veteran, while Rubin is a wild card rising American in what could be a good contest.
Round 3 options are Matteo Viola/Maximo Gonzalez/Andreas Beck/Matt Reid in an open section. Viola has had a good year but prefers clay. Weintraub and Ebden should be co-favorites and either could qualify.
Alex Kuznetsov, a favorite journeyman American, will play Ivan Sergeyev and Renzo Olivo or Jan Mertl. In Round 3, it should be Kuznetsov vs. Ruben Bemelmans, even though Bemelmans has had a bad year. The other options in the section are Denys Molchanov, Boy Westerhof and veteran Stephane Robert.
Diego Sebastian Schwartzman plays Jordi Samper-Montana with the winner getting Dzmitry Zhyrmont or Aldin Setkic in a very weak section. Round 3 will be against Dusan Lajovic/Albano Olivetti/Andre Ghem or Niels Desein.
The 21-year-old Argentine Schwarztman is right around his career high ranking inside the top 130 and plays almost all his tennis on clay, but he is very talented and I think he gets out of this section even with the surface disadvantage.