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Ricky’s Tennis Preview and Picks for this Week’s ATP events in Rotterdam and Buenos Aires

Andrey Rublev won an ATP-best five titles in 2020. EPA-EFE/DAVE HUNT

By Ricky Dimon

The Big 3 may be missing, but the upcoming week on the ATP Tour will nonetheless provide plenty of entertainment with a loaded draw in Rotterdam. Among the headlining players are Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev, and Andy Murray. Meanwhile, the clay-court swing is on its second leg in Buenos Aires.

ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament

Where: Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Surface: Indoor hard
Points: 500
Prize money: 980,580 Euros
Top seed: Daniil Medvedev
2020 champion: Gael Monfils (not playing)

The top half of the draw is tougher, which is bad news for Medvedev and Zverev. Medvedev, who opens with Dusan Lajovic, could meet Borna Coric in the second round and in either Felix Auger-Aliassime, Kei Nishikori, or Alex de Minaur in the quarters. Auger-Aliassime and Nishikori are going head-to-head on Monday. Zverev will get things started against Alexander Bublik, who just finished runner-up in Singapore. The seventh-ranked German is on a collision course for the quarterfinals with Montpellier finalist Roberto Bautista Agut.

Tsitsipas and Rublev arguably have better draws, but that’s not to say it will be easy for anyone in Rotterdam. The sixth-ranked Greek will begin his week against Montpellier semifinalist Egor Gerasimov and they are in a section with Stan Wawrinka and Karen Khachanov (Wawrinka and Khachanov are squaring off in round one). Rublev could go up against Murray in the last 16 and Montpellier champion David Goffin in the quarters.

Quarterfinal picks: Daniil Medvedev over Alex de Minaur, Roberto Bautista Agut over Lorenzo Sonego, Andrey Rublev over Ugo Humbert, and Stan Wawrinka over Stefanos Tsitsipas

: Bautista Agut over Medvedev and Rublev over Wawrinka

Final: Rublev over Bautista Agut

Diego Schwartzman is the top seed in Buenos Aires.

Argentina Open

Where: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Surface: Clay
: 250
Prize money
: $329,550
Top seed: Diego Schwartzman
2020 champion: Casper Ruud (not playing)

The Golden Swing continues in Argentina with a similar draw in Buenos Aires to what we saw this past week in Cordoba. One change is the addition of Cristian Garin, who has been one of the best clay-courters in the world over the last two seasons. Garin has reached five finals in his career, all on clay, and all in 2019 or 2020 (4-1 record in those finals). The 22nd-ranked Chilean has a favorable draw in Buenos Aires, where the other seed with a first-round bye in his half of the draw is a struggling Benoit Paire. Garin’s nearest seed is Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who is in fine form but may be fatigued following a long week in Cordoba.

Diego Schwartzman is the top seed and will kick off his campaign against either Andrej Martin or a qualifier before possibly running into Frances Tiafoe or Facundo Bagnis. Miomir Kecmanovic is the other competitor with a bye in the top half of the bracket, but more likely semifinal opponents for Schwartzman are clay-courters such as Laslo Djere, Marco Cecchinato, Thiago Monteiro, or Juan Manuel Cerundolo (Cerundolo vs. Ramos-Vinolas is the Cordoba final on Sunday night).

Semifinal picks: Thiago Monteiro over Diego Schwartzman and Juan Ignacio Londero over Cristian Garin

Final: Londero over Monteiro

Ricky contributes to10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.