2012 ATP Washington Preview
ATP World Tour 500
July 30-August 8, 2012
Prize Money: $1,049,760
The Citi Open, a combined ATP/WTA event, part of the Emirates US Open Series and formerly sponsored by Legg Mason, has the unfortunate situation of being played during the Olympics, meaning many of the highest ranked players are on the grass of London and not on the hard courts of D.C. Nevertheless, this represents a great opportunity for one of the non-Olympic players to notch a title and the nice check to go along with it and US Open Series bonus points.
Top 4 seeds:
1: Mardy Fish
2: Alexandr Dolgopolov
3: Kevin Anderson
4: Tommy Haas
1st round matchups to watch:
Nicolas Mahut vs. Ricardas Berankis
Berankis and Mahut will play a rematch after they just played Friday night in LA at the Farmers Classic with Berankis winning in straights 6-4 6-4.
Paul Henri Mathieu vs. Xaiver Malisse
Mathieu, a wild card, will continue his efforts on the comeback trail against fellow veteran Malisse, who made the quarterfinals in LA this week. For his part, Mathieu made the semis in Gstaad (the last event he played) and will be looking to make the transition from clay to hard courts.
Benjamin Becker vs. Steve Johnson
The young American Johnson is playing in just his third main draw of an ATP level event this year. He lost in the first round of LA this week, the second round of Atlanta and the 1st round of San Jose. He’ll take on the veteran Becker, who has had an up and down year and remains just outside the top 100, with his best result on the year a semi in Memphis and a quarterfinal in Newport.
Jurgen Zopp vs. Kevin Anderson
Zopp, now ranked in the top 80, will make the trip from Austria and seek to knock off the 3 seed Anderson, who last lost in the second round of Atlanta. Anderson will be a favorite on hard courts, but Zopp has been in good form recently and could shock everyone.
Top seed Mardy Fish, who hasn’t played since the ankle injury he suffered in Atlanta, will start off with German veteran Bjorn Phau and then could get the dangerous Mahut or the streaking Berankis in the second round. Berankis is currently in the semis of LA and just beat Mahut in the quarters. In the third round, Fish could face 6 seed Jeremy Chardy of France, Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin or Malisse or Mathieu. All tricky match ups.
4 seed Tommy Haas starts off with a qualifier and will face either GGL or Leonardo Mayer. After that, 7 seed Benoit Paire, another of the many Frenchmen in the draw, would be his seeded match up, but Marinko Matosevic and Tobias Kamke are also options.
Dolgopolov makes his D.C. debut against Flavio Cipolla of Italy and then could face Matt Ebden or Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo in the second round. Later, 5 seed Pablo Andujar, who opens against James Blake, could be his next opponent, while Horacio Zeballos and a qualifier are also choices.
Big Kevin Anderson would get Brian Baker or a qualifier after Zopp, and could face LA Semifinalist Sam Querrey. Querrey opens against Igor Andreev of Russia and then will face the winner of Johnson/Becker.
Dark Horse: Ricardas Berankis
Berankis has been on a bit of a tear recently, i.e. LA Finalist. He also qualified to make the round of 16 in Atlanta and made the finals of the Winnetka Challenger in Illinois. He has a good-looking draw. If he can beat Mahut again, get either Phau or a possibly still rusty Mardy Fish and then beat Chardy, Matheiu, Malisse or Vasslein in the third round, he could very well make the semis. There, he likely meets up with Haas, who is probably still adjusting to the hard courts after playing on clay. Beyond that, the tournament is winnable for Berankis.
Haas d. Berankis
Querrey d. Dolgopolov
Haas d. Querrey