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10sBalls Shares Ricky’s picks for this week’s ATP Tennis in Mallorca and Eastbourne

Nick Kyrgios in action. (Photo by Thomas F. Starke/Getty Images)

By Ricky Dimon

Just like that, Wimbledon is only a week away. The last two grass-court warmup tournaments are taking place in Mallorca and Eastbourne, where impressive ATP 250 fields are the story. World No. 1 Daniil Medvedev and sixth-ranked Stefanos Tsitsipas headline the Mallorca draw, while Cameron Norrie, Jannik Sinner, and Taylor Fritz are among those in Eastbourne. There is also a newsworthy exhibition at Hurlingham, so it’s a busy week in the tennis world before the season’s third Grand Slam begins next Monday.

Mallorca Championships

Where: Mallorca, Spain
Prize money: 886,500 Euros
Top seed: Daniil Medvedev
Defending champion: Daniil Medvedev

Draw analysis: Although Rafael Nadal obviously isn’t playing his hometown tournament as he hopes to get his body ready for Wimbledon, Medvedev is back to defend his title. It’s not often that a world No. 1 suits up for a 250 tournament the week before a major, but Medvedev can’t play at the All-England Club so he has no worries about overplaying on the heels of back-to-back runner-up performances in ‘s-Hertogenbosch and Eastbourne. An unspectacular top half of the Mallorca draw will likely come down to Medvedev and Nick Kyrgios, who are on a collision course for the quarterfinals.

Tsitsipas is part of a deeper bottom half along with Denis Shapovalov, Botic van de Zandschulp, Ilya Ivashka, and Emil Ruusuvuori. In the toughest section of the bracket, Ivashka and Ruusuvuori are going head-to-head in round one and the winner will meet Tsitsipas. Van de Zandschulp and Mackenzie McDonald are also in that same quarter. Shapovalov is in a friendlier part of the draw, but given his current struggles the door could be open for Jordan Thompson or Benjamin Bonzi.

Quarterfinal picks: Nick Kyrgios over Daniil Medvedev, Tallon Griekspoor over Pablo Carreno Busta, Jordan Thompson over Denis Shapovalov, and Botic van de Zandschulp over Ilya Ivashka

Semifinals: Kyrgios over Griekspoor and Van de Zandschulp over Thompson

Final: Kyrgios over Van de Zandschulp


Rothesay International

Where: Eastbourne, Great Britain
Prize money: 697,405 Euros
Top seed: Cameron Norrie
Defending champion: Alex de Minaur

This is most British players’ favorite time of year, with Queen’s Club, Eastbourne, and Wimbledon back-to-back-to-back. Unfortunately for the British fans, this draw literally could not be any worse. There are five players from the host nation in the field and all five are in the top half. Norrie may run into Jay Clarke and Dan Evans prior to the semifinals, while wild cards Jack Draper and Ryan Peniston could see each other in the quarters. Peniston came from completely out of nowhere to reach the last eight at Queen’s Club, where Draper posted a win over Taylor Fritz.

The bottom half of the Eastbourne bracket is home to most of the American contingent: Fritz, Frances Tiafoe, Sebastian Korda, and Tommy Paul. Tiafoe-Korda is a possible second-round showdown, the winner could face Fritz in the quarters, and Paul will go up against No. 2 seed Jannik Sinner if he beats grass-court novice Francisco Cerundolo in the opening round. Lorenzo Sonego and Alexander Bublik are also potential threats in Eastbourne given their capabilities on the lawn.

Quarterfinal picks: Cameron Norrie over Dan Evans, Jack Draper over Holger Rune, Sebastian Korda over Taylor Fritz, and Lorenzo Sonego over Jannik Sinner

Semifinals: Norrie over Draper and Sonego over Korda

Final: Norrie over Sonego

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