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Ricky’s Preview and Picks for Next Week’s Tournaments in Atlanta and Kitzbuhel

By Ricky Dimon

The U.S. Open Series continues as the North American hard-court swing moves to Atlanta, where Milos Raonic, Jannik Sinner, Nick Kyrgios, Cameron Norrie, Reilly Opelka, and five-time champion John Isner are in action. As for the clay-courters, this is still another option this coming week in Kitzbuhel. That is where Casper Ruud will try to remain on fire. Ruud is joined in the field by Roberto Bautista Agut, Filip Krajinovic, and Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

Truist Atlanta Open

Where: Atlanta, Georgia
Surface: Hard
Top seed: Milos Raonic
2019 champion: Alex de Minaur (not playing)

As it generally is based on both the player field and the fast conditions, huge serving will likely be on display from start to finish. The biggest of the big servers are evenly spaced out in the draw, too. Raonic and Sam Querrey could square off in the quarterfinals, Kyrgios and Kevin Anderson will go head-to-head right away in the second section of the bracket, Opelka and Alexei Popyrin are on course for a potential quarterfinal showdown, and the two seeds at the bottom of the draw are Sinner and Isner.

The top half is especially deep, highlighted by the Kyrgios-Anderson winner to meet a red-hot Norrie. Emil Ruusuvuori and Los Cabos finalist Brandon Nakashima are newcomers on the rise, and even Benoit Paire is finally starting to win some matches. In the bottom half there are seven Americans, led by Opelka and Isner. With neither giant in spectacular form, look for Sinner and Popyrin to do some damage.

Quarterfinal picks: Milos Raonic over Lloyd Harris, Nick Kyrgios over Emil Ruusuvuori, Alexei Popyrin over Reilly Opelka, and Jannik Sinner over John Isner

Semifinals: Kyrgios over Raonic and Popyrin over Sinner

Final: Kyrgios over Popyrin

Generali Open

Where: Kitzbuhel, Austria
Surface: Clay
Top seed: Casper Ruud
2020 champion: Miomir Kecmanovic (not playing)

Ruud just won the Bastad title last week and he currently finds himself in the Gstaad final. Is there really any point to playing another clay-court 250? Sure it never hurts to rack up ATP titles left and right, but it may be time for Ruud to rest up before he takes his talents to the North American hard courts. If the Norwegian withdraws from Kitzbuhel, the door could open for Krajinovic to make a run at a first ATP title. The Serb, who finished runner-up in Hamburg earlier this month, is on a collision course with Federico Delbonis for the Kitzbuhel quarterfinals. Jaume Munar and Mikael Ymer are unseeded floaters in the top half of the bracket who could take advantage by a potential Ruud absence.

On the other side, Spaniards Ramos-Vinolas and Carlos Alcaraz are both in fine form. Alcaraz just beat his countryman in the Umag semis and they could face each other again at the same stage in Kitzbuhel. Bautista Agut also has a chance to be a factor, although he has struggled a bit of late and his clay-court game is generally a question mark.

Semifinal picks: Filip Krajinovic over Jaume Munar and Albert Ramos-Vinolas over Roberto Bautista Agut

Final: Ramos-Vinolas over Krajinovic

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