Hamburg is the only tournament on Tuesday that features second round matches. Dominic Thiem, Dustin Brown and Benoit Paire were among the winners on the first day of action in Germany. Brown defeated Pablo Carreno Busta, 7-6(5) 6-3 after losing to the Spaniard in straight sets in Bastad last week. I love watching Dustin play. He is so incredibly entertaining and I find myself in hysterics most of the time. If he could be more consistent, which is unlikely to happen based on the type of the game he plays, but if, he would be such a HUGE draw for the ATP. Anyway, one of the perks of watching tournaments like these is getting to marvel at the amazing tennis that Dustin can produce.
In the WTA tournaments, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova was knocked out in her first round match in Bastad to Grace Min, 6-0 6-4. Pavs won just seven points in the first set and served up 13 double faults in the 67 minute encounter. Min is on a stunning run of form having reached the semi-finals in Bad Gastein last week. In Istanbul, Klara Koukalova won an odd first rounder against Donna Vekic, 4-6 6-0 6-4. Koukalova led the decider 4-0, was pegged back to 4-4 before winning the final two games of the match. I was intrigued to see what sort of crowd the stunning Centre Court in Istanbul would attract… Oh.
Anyway, here’s a preview of the best second round match from Hamburg on Tuesday’s schedule, which is second up on the Arriba Match Court (NB Midday).
1. Marcel Granollers v Dominic Thiem
Four seeds are in action on Tuesday in Hamburg including Marcel Granollers, who faces a tricky test against Dominic Thiem. The world number 55 struggled on the grass where he failed to pick up a win. This was Thiem’s first ever grass court season. Thankfully for the Austrian, he looks much more at home on the clay where he has enjoyed his best results in what has been a break-out year. On Monday, Thiem beat Jiri Vesely, 7-5 6-0. After a tight opening set where Thiem went 2/9 on break points, he powered through the second set for the loss of just twelve points. Thiem wrote on his Facebook page that he was cautious on the break points in the opening set having gone two months without a win on the main tour.
Next up for Thiem is the number eight seed, Granollers. The Spaniard is an ever present feature at practically every clay court event on tour. Granollers’s highlights on tour in 2014 have been a final appearance in Casablanca and a fourth round showing at Roland Garros. Granollers has played 18 tournaments this year and lost his first match at 11 of them. I still can’t quite fathom how he is ranked at number 28 in the world, despite playing week in, week out. Granollers is a gritty and tough player to break down on clay, but Thiem’s huge striking from the baseline and confidence from a first round win will give him the edge in this match-up.
Prediction: Thiem d. Granollers in 2 sets
ATP Hamburg 2nd Round Predictions:
David Ferrer d. Mikhail Kukushkin in 2 sets
Tommy Robredo d. Daniel Gimeno-Traver in 3 sets
Santiago Giraldo d. Benoit Paire in 3 sets