2013 ATP Gstaad, Umag Previews and Predictions
Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com
Though I’m in Atlanta all week, there are in fact two other ATP events going on. They’re both in Europe on clay. Here’s a sneak peek of each.
Gstaad Official Site (Photo: Valeriano Di Domenico)
ATP Gstaad Credit Agricole Suisse Open Gstaad
ATP World Tour 250
July 22-July 28, 2013
Prize Money: €410,200
Top 4 seeds (Who all receive first round byes)
1: Roger Federer
2: Stanislas Wawrinka
3: Janko Tipsarevic
4: Juan Monaco
1st round matchups to watch:
(7)Lukas Rosol vs. Marcel Granollers
Rosol may be injured and he’s lost 4 straight. Rosol is seeded 7th, but Hamburg 3rd rounder Marcel Granollers should have the upset track on clay.
Federico Delbonis vs. Thomaz Bellucci
Current Hamburg finalist Delbonis, who upset Federer and has been on a whirlwind pace in Germany, will take on Bellucci. Belucci was knocked out in the first round of Hamburg and is still finding his feet. This is a quality clay court match and Delbonis should have an edge if he isn’t fatigued. Bellucci is the defending champion and would hate to give up so many points with a 1st round loss.
Roger Federer is not playing well right now. He lost in the semis of Hamburg to Delbonis and before that dropped sets to both Daniel Brands and Florian Mayer. Some say it was his switch to the 98-inch racquet from the 90-inch, but I’m not totally sure that will take care of the problem. He could very well face Brands again if the German beats Marco Chiudinelli in the opening round. Chiudinelli has some positive mojo working as he made the semis in Eskisehir challenger.
The winner will get one of a qualifier, Victor Hanescu, Henri Laaksonen or 8 seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the quarters. RBA comes off 2nd round in Hamburg, while Hanescu lost in the opening round of Hamburg.
Hamburg quarterfinalist Juan Monaco will play Adrian Ungur or more likely Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, who made the 3rd round of Hamburg and could perhaps give him some trouble.
In the quarters, one of Pablo Andujar/qualifier/Paul Henri Mathieu/Mikhail Youzhny await in what is a very open section.
Stan Wawrinka got a much needed break from the tour and will open at home against Daniel Gimeno-Traver or Kenny De Schepper with Sergiy Stakhovsky/Andrey Kuznetsov or Feliciano Lopez/Qualifier awaiting in the quarters.
Tipsy Needs to Find Himself
3 seed Janko Tipsarevic will backpeddle from Bogota, where he again failed to make even the semifinals of what was honestly a weak event (lost to Alejandro Falla in the quarters). Now he’s going back to clay and still trying to turn his miserable year around against Robin Haase or a qualifier. Tipsy was a finalist last year, but I don’t see that happening this year.
The winner will get Rosol/Granollers or Delbonis/Bellucci.
Dark Horse: Federico Delbonis
I considered giving this moniker to Brands or Bautista because they could both upset Federer and make it a tournament to remember. However, Delbonis, though he may be tired, has played incredibly well in Hamburg and has a tailor-made draw with an off kilter Bellucci, a probably injured Rosol/not dynamic Granollers, and then either ice cold Tipsarevic, tiebreak struggler Haase or a qualifier. Semis are reasonable.
Federer d. Monaco
Wawrinka d. Delbonis
Federer is 4-0 against Monaco, and though he could lose before this point, I don’t see Pico in his current form beating him. Wawrinka should get past his draw and beat whoever he faces in the semis.
“We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Racket” —Jaws, 1975
Wawrinka d. Federer
I’ll be gutsy and say Wawrinka will go against his 1-13 head to head against his more accomplished countryman and win an all Swiss final at home. Wawrinka’s only win against Fed came in ’09 on clay and with the year Stan has had, plus the way Federer is playing, I say he notches his 2nd win.
Vegeta Crotia Open Umag
ATP World Tour 250
July 22-July 28, 2013
Prize Money: € 410,200
Top 4 seeds (who all receive first round byes)
1: Richard Gasquet
2: Andreas Seppi
3: Fabio Fognini
4: Alex Dolgopolov
First round matchups to watch:
Dmitry Tursunov vs. Thiemo De Bakker
Tursunov lost in the 3rd round of Hamburg to eventual finalist Delbonis, while De Bakker comes off Bastad semis. Both players have been good at times but are streaky, and on clay this should be entertaining.
Richard Gasquet comes back for his first event since Wimby against Albert Montanes or a qualifier, then could face Gael Monfils/Mate Pavic/Florian Mayer/qualifier in the quarters. Mayer is playing well and nearly beat Federer in the Hamburg quarters, so he could be a dangerous opponent.
Possible Hamburg champion and Stuttgart champion Fabio Fognini could be looking for his 3rd title in a row in Umag, opening with Tursunov/De Bakker, both of whom could defeat him if fatigued, though the Italian is playing some incredible tennis right now.
The other quarterfinalist will be one of Martin Klizan/Paolo Lorenzi/Albert Ramos/Leo Mayer in an open section.
Andreas Seppi lost in the opening round of Hamburg and will face Poznan challenger champ Andreas Haider-Maurer or talented youngster Jiri Vesely in the 2nd round. The quarterfinalist of that group will face Bastad champ and Hamburg 3rd rounder Carlos Berlocq if the Warlocq can beat a qualifier, and Borna Coric/Horacio Zeballos. Zeballos continues to struggle and the 16-year-old Croat wild card will have an upset chance.
Another struggling seed is Alex Dolgopolov, who is in danger of dropping out of the top 30 after another Round 1 loss (this time to Mayer in Hamburg). Dolgo opens with Aljaz Bedene or a qualifier. Dolgo has had Umag success before and he could use some now to kickstart his game. In the quarters, Tommy Robredo/Jan Hajek/Antonio Veic/Viktor Troicki await. Robredo lost in the opening round of Hamburg to Delbonis in 3 sets, and in fact has suffered consecutive opening round losses. Hajek, meanwhile, upset Ernests Gulbis to reach the Hamburg 3rd round.
Dark Horse: Jan Hajek
Hajek is a clay courter, and can play inspired tennis at times. His draw is favorable, with the seemingly struggling Robredo to open, then Veic/Troicki (neither of whom are that great right now), and a qualifier or a struggling Dolgopolov in the quarters.
Semis:Gasquet d. Fognini
Berlocq d. Hajek
Gasquet should get past Monfils and Mayer, though either could make the final. In addition, Fognini should worn out by the semis, but he has nothing in his draw to trouble him before except perhaps Tursunov. Fognini won the only clay meeting between them this year in Monte Carlo.
Berlocq should escape his section, though watch out for Vesely. Hajek gets a nice chance the semis. Berlocq is 2-0 career against Hajek, with both meetings coming on clay.
Final:Gasquet d. Berlocq
They have never met, but Gasquet is better and thus edge to him.