The strongest of the three tournaments is in Montpellier where the draw is kitted out with 10 French players and that is before the qualifiers have even been added which could take that tally even higher. Tomas Berdych headlines the draw, but will have a challenge in itself to be in one piece on the court following a gruelling week of Davis Cup duty that saw him involved in a 7 hour plus doubles match on Saturday. Berdych is due to face Nikolay Davydenko in the quarter-finals and Richard Gasquet in the semi-finals; I like Gasquet’s chances this week although he will likely have to get past Gael Monfils in the second round.
Full predictions for Montpellier HERE
Rafael Nadal headlines the first clay court tournament of 2013 in Chile. The standard of the draw is pretty weak so it seems a wise choice for Nadal to start his comeback here and shake off the rust, which will definitely be there following seven months away from the tour. After a first round bye, he will play a qualifier or Guido Pella in the second round. Jeremy Chardy is the highest seed he could face before the final with Paolo Lorenzi and Daniel Gimeno-Traver rounding out the seeds in the top half.
Full predictions for Vina del Mar HERE
Marin Cilic and Andreas Seppi, who met in the third round of this year’s Australian Open, are the top two seeds in Zagreb. Cilic is in the tougher of the two halves with Marcos Baghdatis, Mikhail Youzhny and Grigor Dimitrov all potential opponents from the quarter-finals. Seppi looks to have a far easier route with Martin Klizan the first seed he could face in the quarter-finals. The number 4 seed, Jurgen Melzer has been pretty irratic of late so I will be surprised to see him match his seeding of a semi-final place.
Full predictions for Zagreb HERE