Preview and picks for this week's ATP events in Rotterdam, New York, and Buenos Aires

Daniil Medvedev hits a forehand during the 2019 U.S. Open final.
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Ricky Dimon

Tennis· 1 year ago

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

The grind that is February on the professional tennis calendar continues this week in Rotterdam, New York, and Buenos Aires. The Big 3 (Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer) are still resting and Dominic Thiem pulled out of the Buenos Aires tournament following his Australian Open final loss to Djokovic. Nonetheless, there is an impressive group of players taking the court around the world.

Let’s take a look at the three ATP events and make some predictions!

Rotterdam

Odds
Daniil Medvedev +300
Stefanos Tsitsipas +600
Gael Monfils +800
Andrey Rublev +1000
Roberto Bautista Agut +1200
Karen Khachanov +1400

Not-so-friendly rivals Daniil Medvedev are Stefanos Tsitsipas are the top two seeds at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, which is played on indoor hard courts and offers a sizable 500 ranking points to the champion. Medvedev and Tsitsipas are joined in a strong field by Andrey Rublev, Denis Shapovalov, Karen Khachanov, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Hubert Hurkacz, and Jannik Sinner, among others. Although Tsitsipas is facing one of those guys (Hurkacz) right away in round one, Medvedev’s draw is actually tougher. The fifth-ranked Russian kicks off his campaign against Montpellier runner-up Vasek Pospisil before possibly facing Rublev in the quarterfinals.

On Tsitsipas’ side of the draw, one quarterfinal contest will likely feature Roberto Bautista Agut and David Goffin. The other could go in any number of directions. Hurkacz is dangerous for Tsitsipas, while Shapovalov (vs. Grigor Dimitrov) and Auger-Aliassime (vs. Jan-Lennard Struff) will be tested right from the start. The mercurial Benoit Paire could also make some noise.

Picks:
Champion: Daniil Medvedev
Runner-up: Roberto Bautista Agut

New York

Top seed John Isner cannot like his draw at the New York Open. Fellow big server (and also fellow American) Reilly Opelka has taken Isner out multiple times in the past few seasons, including at this very New York event just last year. Isner could meet Opelka in the semis this time, but before that the 34-year-old may be in store for a similar matchup with 6’11” Croat Ivo Karlovic in the second round. Kevin Anderson also finds himself in the top half of the bracket, so Opelka could run into some trouble prior to the semifinals.

Milos Raonic, who made a surprising run to the Australian Open quarterfinals, should have an easier time of things in the bottom half of the bracket. Among the challengers are Ugo Humbert, Kyle Edmund, and Miomir Kecmanovic. Humbert has cooled off since winning his first ATP title last month in Auckland, while Edmund and Kecmanovic are both struggling. Jack Sock is making another return from injury and may benefit from a favorable draw with Marcos Giron in round one followed by Humbert.

Picks:
Champion: Milos Raonic
Runner-up: Reilly Opelka

Buenos Aires

Guido Pella joked that he hoped Thiem would skip this tournament in order to give everyone else a chance. A few days after Pella’s request, that is exactly what happened. The Argentine is a direct beneficiary of Thiem’s absence, too, as the No. 22 player in the world would have been the No. 3 seed and liable to be on the same side of the draw as Thiem. Instead, Pella has moved up to the No. 2 spot opposite top-seeded countryman Diego Schwartzman. Of course, things still aren’t going to be easy for anyone in Buenos Aires. The field is loaded with clay-court specialists, not unlike the case this past week in Cordoba–where Schwartzman is in the final on Sunday.

Schwartzman is on course to meet fellow Argentines in his first two matches, starting with Federico Delbonis and then Leonardo Mayer. Also in the top quarter of the bracket are Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Pablo Cuevas, while Borna Coric, Cristian Garin, and Corentin Moutet are potential semifinal opponents for Schwartzman.

Picks:
Champion: Juan Ignacio Londero
Runner-up: Corentin Moutet

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