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Tennis • Ricky’s Picks For This Week’s ATP Tournaments In Estoril And Munich • 10sBalls

Pedro Sousa from Portugal in action during his first round match against Rilley Opelka of the USA at the Estoril Open Tennis tournament in Cascais, on the outskirts of Lisbon, Portugal, 29 April 2019. EPA-EFE/JOSE SENA GOULAO
Pedro Sousa from Portugal in action during his first round match against Rilley Opelka of the USA at the Estoril Open Tennis tournament in Cascais, on the outskirts of Lisbon, Portugal, 29 April 2019. EPA-EFE/JOSE SENA GOULAO

 

 

By Ricky Dimon

 

This is one of the busiest and best times of every tennis year, with the clay-court swing in full flight, the French Open on the immediate horizon, and Wimbledon and the U.S. Open too far away. Even the 250-point events are stacked with notable players, as we see this week in Estoril and Munich. Among those in action this week are Alexander Zverev, Karen Khachanov, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Fabio Fognini, Gael Monfils, and David Goffin.

 

 

Estoril Open

Where: Estoril, Portugal

Prize money: 524,340 Euros

Top seed: Stefanos Tsitsipas

Defending champion: Joao Sousa

 

Most of the top players in Estoril are racing to find their form in time for Roland Garros, which is four weeks away. Tstisipas has cooled off in recent weeks, Goffin has not been at his best since physical problems plagued his 2018 campaign, the same goes for Pablo Carreno Busta, and Monfils is once again dealing with injuries. Carreno Busta and Monfils are in the same quarter of this bracket, which could open the door for either Jeremy Chardy or Taylor Fritz.

 

Two seeded players are, however, are in fine form. Fognini and Dusan Lajovic recently faced each other in the Monte-Carlo final and they will try to maintain their momentum in Estoril. Fognini, whose Monte-Carlo triumph marked the first Masters 1000 title of his career, likely awaits Pablo Cuevas in round two of Estoril. Lajovic may have a tough opener on his hands against Leonardo Mayer before potentially meeting Nicolas Jarry and then either Goffin or defending champion Joao Sousa.

 

First-round upset chance: Leonardo Mayer over (5) Dusan Lajovic. Due to his recent runner-up showing in Monte-Carlo, Lajovic is now playing with the greatest expectations of his career. How will he handle that pressure? Well, it won’t be easy in his first match since Monte-Carlo. Mayer leads this head-to-head series 2-0 on the main tour, including a clay-court win earlier this year in Buenos Aires.

Semifinal picks: Stefanos Tsitsipas over Joao Sousa and Fabio Fognini over Jeremy Chardy

Final: Tsitsipas over Fognini

 

 

BMW Open

Where: Munich, Germany

Prize money: 524,340 Euros

Top seed: Alexander Zverev

Defending champion: Alexander Zverev

 

Munich has been a safe haven for the Germans in recent years. Zverev is the two-time defending champion, making it three straight title-winners from the host country (also Philipp Kohlschreiber in 2016) and five in the past seven years (also Kohlschreiber in 2012 and Tommy Haas in 2013). More of the same could be in the cards in 2019, as Zverev and Kohlschreiber are once again in the field along with a red-hot Jan-Lennard Struff.

 

Zverev, who could get things started against compatriot Maximilian Marterer, is just 3-6 in his last nine matches. The winner of a first-round showdown between Diego Schwartzman and Benoit Paire may be able to victimize against Zverev in the quarters. Kohlschreiber may be tested by Andreas Seppi in the first round, but his path through the bracket looks manageable. Kohlschreiber’s two closest seeds—Khachanov and Kyle Edmund—are not playing well at the moment. Also watch out for an in-form Guido Pella in the bottom half of the bracket.

 

First-round upset chance: Denis Kudla over (5) Kyle Edmund. Should this upset happen? No. Is there a chance? Sure. Kudla is not playing well in 2019, but Edmund—aside from an Indian Wells defeat of Milos Raonic—has been a disaster at the ATP level. Clay is not a favorable surface for either man, which will create a somewhat evenplaying field.

Semifinal picks: Diego Schwartzman over Marco Cecchinato and Philipp Kohlschreiber over Guido Pella

Final: Schwartzman over Kohlschreiber

 

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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