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Ricky’s Tennis Preview And Picks For This Week’s ATP Events In Antalya And Delray Beach

Alex De Minaur of Australia.


By Ricky Dimon

The 2021 ATP season is here!

Main-draw action in Antalya and Delray Beach gets underway on Thursday, kicking off what will be another unusual year in tennis—perhaps (but hopefully not!) as crazy as 2020. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the schedule for at least the first three months of 2021 is totally out of whack. For starters, Antalya and Delray Beach had never held a January spot on the calendar. Now they do…and they are alone in doing so. After this week, no more tournaments are on tap for this month outside of Australian Open qualifying. So, let’s enjoy them while they last!

The Antalya field includes David Goffin, Matteo Berrettini, Fabio Fognini, and Alex de Minaur. For various reasons both in their control and also out of their hands, Berrettini and Goffin endured disappointing 2020 campaigns. It will be interesting to see how they come out of the gates this season. Whatever the case of Antalya’s top two seeds, the door could be open for de Minaur.

As usual, the Delray Beach Open features an American-heavy contingent. John Isner rarely plays well at this tournament, but keep in mind he normally plays it in between the Australian Open and the Indian Wells/Miami double. Now it’s being held in the first week of the year—a spot on the calendar during which Isner often excels (he is a two-time Auckland champion). The 6’10’’ American could be challenged this week by occasional doubles partner Hubert Hurkacz, top seed Cristian Garin, Sam Querrey, and Frances Tiafoe.

It should be noted that both 250-point tournaments are being played on outdoor hard courts. Antalya was previously on grass when it occupied a summer spot on the calendar.

Predictions

Antalya

Quarterfinals
: Egor Gerasimov over Matteo Berrettini, Jan-Lennard Struff over Fabio Fognini, Alex de Minaur over Andrea Arnaboldi, and Miomir Kecmanovic over David Goffin

Semifinals: Struff over Gerasimov and de Minaur over Kecmanovic

Final: de Minaur over Struff

John Isner of the USA.



Delray Beach

Quarterfinals
: Mackenzie McDonald over Cristian Garin, Hubert Hurkacz over Ivo Karlovic, Frances Tiafoe over Cameron Norrie, and John Isner over Soonwoo Kwon

Semifinals: Hurkacz over McDonald and Isner over Tiafoe

Final: Isner over Hurkacz

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