2012 UNICEF Open ATP Preview
By Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com
The 2nd set of grass court events and final tune ups before Wimbledon will kick off next week in the Netherlands and Eastbourne, England. The UNICEF Open is previewed below, and the Eastbourne preview follows shortly.
ATP World Tour 250
‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands
June 17-23, 2012
Prize Money: €450,000
Top 4 seeds
1: David Ferrer
2: Viktor Troicki
3: Jurgen Melzer
4: Robin Haase
Ferrer returns to action after a semi-final performance in Paris while Haase carries home hopes and Troicki comes off a loss in Halle. The UNICEF Open is a combined event with the WTA.
1st round matchups to watch:
Oliver Rochus vs. Malek Jaziri
Veteran serve and volleying Belgian Rochus is coming off tough 1st round losses to Sam Querrey at Queen’s Club and Leonardo Mayer in Paris as he tries to get in the groove before Wimbledon. He will face Tunisian Jaziri, who continues to climb in the rankings considerably and will be a tough out.
Jurgen Melzer vs. Igor Kunitsyn
A couple of crafty veterans who have been down on their luck recently, but still have plenty of talent will battle it out. Melzer is only .500 on the year (12-12) and Kunitsyn continues to float right around the top 100, reaching the quarterfinals in the Nottingham challenger in his last event.
David Goffin vs. Benoit Paire
A Round of 16 participant at Roland Garros, Goffin, who has now broken into the top 70 will take on Belgrade finalist Paire in a battle of a Frenchman vs. Belgian in the Netherlands.
Flavio Cipolla vs. Potito Starace
Potato Starch will take on his countryman Chips. Combined, they make an Italian potato chip.
Potito Chips, anyone?
Top seed David Ferrer begins his tune up for Wimbledon with a qualifier and then Leonardo Mayer or a qualifier. If he gets through, Rochus or 6 seed Jarkko Nieminen, the lefty vet from Finland, are likely quarterfinal match ups.
3 seed Jurgen Melzer will face Kunitsyn, Tatsuma Ito or a qualifier and then Goffin/Paire or Dudi Sela/Lukasz Kubot, the 8 seed. This is a wide open part of the draw.
2 seed Viktor Troicki comes off a 2nd round loss to Tomas Berdych in Halle and will take on veteran Xaiver Malisse. He could then face the man who beat Tsonga in Halle, Ivan Dodig, and after that 5 seed Santiago Giraldo, serve and volleyer Gilles Muller or Ruben Ramirez Hildalgo/Alejandro Falla.
4 seed Robin Haase will seek to win one of his home countries 2 ATP tournaments facing wild card Mate Pavic then a qualifier or Dmitry Tursunov. That would follow with a match up against Alex Bogomolov Jr., Vasselin or Starace/Cipolla in another permeable part of the draw.
Dark Horse: Ivan Dodig
Dodig, ranked just inside the top 70, comes off a quarterfinals run at Queen’s Club where he knocked off Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and fell in 3 sets to Sam Querrey. While his recent results haven’t been stellar, he will face a weak draw and has momentum on grass going in. If he can beat Paolo Lorenzi and overcome the roadblock that is Viktor Troicki (an inconsistent player himself ), the route to the final is somewhat clear as none of the other seeds in the bottom half of the draw look that daunting (Haase, Giraldo and Bogomolov).
Ferrer d. Kubot
Dodig d. Haase
Ferrer d. Dodig