It is another busy week on the ATP tour with three tournaments and the first ATP 500 tournament of the year with a jam-packed draw in Rotterdam.
Roger Federer, Juan Martin Del Potro and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga headline an impressive draw in Rotterdam with a handful of first round crackers. The best of those first rounders will see the number two seed, Del Potro take on Gael Monfils in what promises to be a lively affair. Montpellier runner-up, Benoit Paire takes on Marcos Baghdatis in round one, meanwhile two of the hottest prospective talents who have both shown some promise this year, Benard Tomic and Grigor Dimitrov, play against one another.
Federer should reach the quarter-finals without too much bother as he takes on Grega Zemlja in round one and is likely to play Mikhail Youzhny in the quarter-finals, who has an abysmal record against Federer. Jerzy Janowicz is Federer’s first projected seed, but a pair of dangerous Frenchman in Michael Llodra and Julien Benneteau, who play in round one and did well in Montpellier, should make the quarters.
Tsonga should await Federer in the semi-finals and especially as he is in the weakest part of the draw with Gilles Simon who has made a respectable, but unspectacular start to the year. Richard Gasquet, who won his second title of the year in Montpellier, could face a final rematch with Paire if he can get past Viktor Troicki in the first round. The winner of Tomic/Dimitrov will take on the winner of Florian Mayer and Nikolay Davydenko promising a wide open section with quality players.
Del Potro disappointed in Melbourne with a 3rd round loss to Jeremy Chardy, but I am still confident he will break the top four this year. If he gets past Monfils, things look straightforward up to the semi-finals where I predict he will play Tomic. Federer will have his hands full with Tsonga and Del Potro has won his last three matches over the Swiss maestro so I am predicting an Argentine win in Rotterdam…
1st Round Predictions – Benneteau to beat Llodra in 3 sets, Davydenko to beat Mayer in 2 sets, Tomic to beat Dimitrov in 3 sets, Paire to beat Baghdatis in 2 tight sets, Gasquet to beat Troicki in 2 sets and Del Potro to beat Monfils in 2 tight sets
|Final Prediction – Del Potro d. Federer
|FULL PREDICTIONS FOR ROTTERDAM HERE
ATP San Jose
Milos Raonic and John Isner are the top two seeds in the ATP 250 draw in San Jose. Raonic’s first test is unlikely to come until the quarter-finals where he is projected to meet Denis Istomin. Sam Querrey and Marinko Matosevic are the other two seeds in his section and the former, is my tip for the title. I also like Jack Sock, who had a great run at the US Open last year and takes on Matosevic in the first round.
Isner’s form has been patchy to say the least in 2013, not helped by frequent injuries. He struggled in Davis Cup action and I will be surprised to see him get past the quarter-finals. Xavier Malisse has started well in 2013 with a quarter-final appearance in Auckland and I can see him knocking out Isner in the quarters. Fernando Verdasco and Tommy Haas are the other two seeds in the draw; the Spaniard, Verdasco has always done well in San Jose and should make the final.
1st Round Predictions – Harrison to beat Becker in 3 sets, Kavcic to beat Hewitt in 2 tight sets, Sock to beat Matosevic in 3 sets and Malisse to beat Soeda in 2 sets
Final Prediction – Querrey d. Verdasco
FULL PREDICTIONS FOR SAN JOSE HERE
ATP São Paulo
Rafael Nadal continues his comeback from injury in a draw that looks very similar to that of Vina del Mar bar a few additions. After a first round bye, Nadal is seeded to meet Albert Ramos in the quarter-finals and once again, Jeremy Chardy in the semi-finals, who he disposed of in ruthless fashion in Chile this week with a 6-2 6-2 scoreline.
Juan Monaco is still looking for his first main draw win of 2013 and is bumped down to number three seed from Chile with Nicolas Almagro the number 2 seed. Almagro has Fabio Fognini and David Nalbandian in his section, meanwhile Monaco is seeded to meet Pablo Andujar in the quarter-finals. The standard is marginally higher in Brazil compared to Chile, but the real prediction dilemma is who Nadal will beat in the final.
1st Round Predictions – Ramos to beat Garcia-Lopez in 3 sets, Giraldo to beat Andujar in 2 sets, Fognini to beat Pella in 3 sets and Lorenzi to beat Montanes in 3 sets
Final Prediction – Nadal d. Almagro
FULL PREDICTIONS FOR SAO PAULO HERE