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ATP tennis news – Citi open in Washington, D.C. and Abierto de Tenis Mifel in Los Cabos

Indian Wells champion Taylor Fritz is Ricky’s pick to rule Washington, DC. EPA-EFE/RAY ACEVEDO

By Ricky Dimon

The post-Wimbledon clay-court tournaments have mercifully come to an end and now it’s time for the hard-court buildup to the U.S. Open to begin in earnest. Interestingly, Washington, D.C. and Los Cabos are being held during the same week this year. That will make for a busy and entertaining seven-day stretch of tennis, one that will include Daniil Medvedev, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Andrey Rublev, Hubert Hurkacz, Nick Kyrgios and Andy Murray.

Citi Open

Where: Washington, D.C.
: 500
Top seed: Andrey Rublev
2021 champion: Jannik Sinner (not playing)

As usual, the Washington, D.C. draw is loaded as some of the best players in the world start gearing up for the U.S. Open. Top three seeds Rublev, Hurkacz, and Taylor Fritz are all in Nitto ATP Finals contention and all three have a realistic—albeit outside—chance at the season’s fourth and final major especially if Novak Djokovic is unable to play. For now, though, they are focused on Washington, D.C. Rublev and Fritz are on a collision course for the semifinals in the top half of the draw, but Rublev’s second match could come against Newport champion Maxime Cressy. Fritz is likely to face either Alex de Minaur, Karen Khachanov, or Jenson Brooksby in the quarterfinals. De Minaur vs. Brooksby in round two would be a rematch of Sunday’s Atlanta final.

With Kyrigos, Murray, Sebastian Korda, Emil Ruusuvuori, and Ilya Ivashka all unseeded, the bottom half of the bracket is stacked. Tommy Paul may have to meet Kyrgios right off the bat, while Aslan Karatsev is Murray’s nearest seed. That is a favorable draw for Murray, who would also have a decent shot against Hurkacz in round three. Korda and Ivashka are going head-to-head in the opening round and the winner will have a good chance to reach at least the quarters. Frances Tiafoe, who reached the Atlanta semis along with Ivashka and is from the D.C. area, is also a contender along with Grigor Dimitrov and Botic van de Zandschulp.

Quarterfinal picks: David Goffin over Denis Shapovalov, Taylor Fritz over Alex de Minaur, Nick Kyrgios over Botic van de Zandschulp, and Andy Murray over Ilya Ivashka

Semifinals: Fritz over Goffin and Kyrgios over Murray

Final: Fritz over Kyrgios

Daniil Medvedev is top seed in Los Cabos.

Abierto de Tenis Mifel

Where: Los Cabos, Mexico
: 250
Top seed: Daniil Medvedev
Defending champion: Cameron Norrie

Medvedev is back after being banned from Wimbledon and he is ready for his favorite time of year. These months marked his true breakthrough on tour in 2019, when he advanced to finals in seven consecutive tournaments—starting with Washington, D.C. and including the U.S. Open. Medvedev, who will soon be defending his 2021 U.S. Open title, is taking his talents to Los Cabos this time around. His debut at this event should get off to a routine start in what is an otherwise weak section of the draw. Things could get tricky in the semis, where Miomir Kecmanovic and Brandon Nakashima are potential opponents.

Auger-Aliassime will likely have a tougher time in the bottom half. The second-seeded Canadian could meet Aussies John Millman and Thanasi Kokkinakis early in the week before possibly running into Wimbledon semifinalist Cameron Norrie in the last four. Norrie perhaps has the easiest draw of anyone until the weekend, which is all the more reason to like the Brit’s chances of reaching the final if not even taking the title.

Quarterfinal picks: Daniil Medvedev over Ricardas Berankis, Brandon Nakashima over Miomir Kecmanovic, Cameron Norrie over Jason Kubler, and Felix Auger-Aliassime over Thanasi Kokkinakis

Semifinals: Medvedev over Nakashima and Norrie over Auger-Aliassime

Final: Medvedev over Norrie

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