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ATP Tennis • Ricky’s Preview And Picks For The 250-point Tournaments In Lyon And Geneva

Photo by @OpenParcARA via Twitter

 

 

By Ricky Dimon

 

By the standards of 250-point tournaments immediately preceding majors, Lyon and Geneva feature impressive player fields. You can always count on Dominic Thiem to turn up no matter the circumstances, and that is exactly what he is doing in Lyon this week. The world No. 8 is joined by John Isner, Jack Sock, Hyeon Chung, and Gael Monfils. In Geneva, Switzerland’s own Stan Wawrinka headlines the draw along with Sam Querrey, Fabio Fognini, and David Ferrer.

 

Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon

Where: Lyon, France

Prize money: 501,345 Euros

Top seed: Dominic Thiem

2017 champion: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (not playing)

 

Thiem has often overworked himself in the early stages of his career, but his participation in this particular 250-point event actually makes some sense. Aside from a Madrid upset of Rafael Nadal, the Austrian has underwhelmed on clay and therefore has not played too many matches. Additional confidence can be had prior to the French Open, and Thiem should be able to acquire some in Lyon. Sock and Joao Sousa are his most dangerous opposition in the top half of the bracket, but the top seed cannot meet either one until the semifinals. Thiem’s potential second-rounder against Roberto Carballes Baena, however, could at least provide some intrigue.

 

Anything could happen in the other half. Isner has not done much on clay since winning the biggest title of his career at the Miami Masters, Chung is struggling with both form and physical problems, and Monfils is a shadow of his former self right now. John Millman and Maximilian Marterer are among those who could take advantage.

 

Semifinal picks: Dominic Thiem over Joao Sousa and Maximilian Marterer over John Millman

Final: Thiem over Marterer

 

Banque Eric Sturdza Geneva Open

Where: Geneva, Switzerland

Prize money: 501,345 Euros

Top seed: Sam Querrey

Defending champion: Stan Wawrinka

 

When Fognini is arguably the most reliable player with an opening-round bye, you know the title is completely up for grabs. Querrey has not won a match since the Miami second round, Wawrinka’s comeback has been discouraging, and Ferrer sports a record of a grand total of 0-1 in clay-court events this spring. Fognini, on the other hand, halted a three-match losing streak by advancing to the Rome quarters and stealing a set off Nadal.

 

Wawrinka’s quarter is by far the most difficult, as it includes a trio of talented Americans—Jared Donaldson, Frances Tiafoe, and Ryan Harrison. The winner of a first-round battle between Harrison and Tiafoe will meet either Albert Ramos-Vinolas or Marton Fucsovics, while Wawrinka awaits Donaldson or Denis Istomin for his opener. Querrey could be challenged early at the top of the draw by Guido Pella and Steve Johnson. Fognini has the friendliest draw of the four, while Ferrer may have a rough opener on his hands against Ivo Karlovic or Peter Gojowyczk.

 

Semifinal picks: Albert Ramos-Vinolas over Guido Pella and David Ferrer over Tennys Sandgren

Final: Ramos-Vinolas over Ferrer

 

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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