Haas Claims Munich Over Countryman Kohlschreiber, Wawrinka Upsets Ferrer in Estoril
The German crowd was delighted to watch Tommy Haas win his first title of the year at home in Munich 6-3, 7-6 over the German number 2 Phillip Kohlschreiber, who made the final again but failed to defend his title. Haas moves up to 13 in the ATP rankings after wins over Ernests Gulbis in 3 sets, Florian Mayer, and surprise semifinalist Ivan Dodig, who knocked off Marin Cilic and Alex Dogopolov en route to the semis.
Kohlschreiber got back on track with his season and put wins together against Evgeny Korolev, Viktor Troicki and Daniel Brands in a tight 3 set tiebreaker.
Jarkko Nieminen and Dmitry Tursunov won the doubles over Marcos Baghdatis and Eric Butorac.
Stanislas Wawrinka won the sparsely attended event over David Ferrer 6-1 6-4, as Ferrer made the final, but once again fell short of his intended goal as at top 4 player. Wawrinka beat Albert Ramos, Gastao Elias, and Pablo Carreno-Busta, who continues his tremendous year with his first ATP semi.
Ferrer and Wawrinka were hitting partners this week.
Ferrer beat Edouard Roger-Vasselin, Victor Hanescu and Andreas Seppi.
Santiago Gonzalez and Scott Lipsky won the doubles over Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer.
2013 ATP Munich, Estoril Previews
A pair of clay 250s will be the ATP tour entree offerings this week.
ATP World Tour 250
April 29-May 4, 2013
Prize money: EUR 410,200
Top 4 seeds (who all receive first round byes)
1: Janko Tipsarevic
2: Marin Cilic
3: Tommy Haas
4: Philipp Kohlschreiber
First round matchups to watch:
Ernests Gulbis vs. Jarkko Nieminen
Gulbis suffered a disappointing loss to Milos Raonic in Barcelona, but hasnhad a an excellent year, while Nieminen only made the 2nd round in Bucharest but played 2 excellent matches against Evgeny Donskoy and Gilles Simon, both going 3 sets. Gulbis has won all 3 of their meetings, including this year in Marseille, but all 3 meetings have been on hard courts. Expect a lot of action and some excellent ball striking from both players.
Janko Tipsarevic is still struggling, even after winning a match in Bucharest, as his quarterfinal loss to Garcia-Lopez was uncharacteristic and typical for this year. Tipsy is still a top 10 player ranking wise, but he certainly isn’t playing like one. He opens with Thomaz Bellucci, who will be trying to recover from a hip injury incurred in Barcelona, or Grega Zemlja. Afterward, he could face Jurgen Melzer, Daniel Brands or wildcards Tobias Kamke and Gael Monfils. Monfils continues to carry on hobbled by injuries and very little should be expected from him right now as he fell to Brands in Bucharest via retirement.
Peppo Kohlschreiber, the defending champ, made the semis in Barcelona, which is certainly a great result on paper. Looks can be a bit deceiving, as he got a walkover in the quarters (a match that would have been against Bellucci) and he got through his first two matches against Andrey Kuznetsov and Martin Klizan by the skin of his teeth, both in nail-biting 3 set fashion. Before that, and before Monte Carlo, Kohli had not been playing great, but his ball striking and court sense seem to be slowly improving and coming back now.
Peppo opens against a qualifier or Marcos Baghdatis, who hasn’t played since Davis Cup. He could then face Mikhail Youzhny, a slumping Radek Stepanek, a qualifier, or Viktor Troicki, who was struggling but did make quarters in Bucharest last week.
The top half of the draw is a mixed bag of icy players and injured players.
Marin Cilic, a finalist in Munich last year, will play Nikolay Davydenko or Ivan Dodig before meeting Alex Dolgopolov, Paul-Henri Mathieu, a qualifier, or Dmitry Tursunov, who shocked David Ferrer in Barcelona.
Tommy Haas is back in action and back in Germany, where he will play the winner of Gulbis/Nieminen and then a qualifier, Bucharest semifinalist Florian Mayer (who seemed to find his Flo last week), wild card Kevin Krawietz or Marinko Matosevic. If Haas meets Nieminen round two, he will be looking to avenge his loss at the Australian Open to the Flying Fin.
The bottom half is much more in form than the top half.
Dark Horse: Daniel Brands
It’s difficult to call him a dark horse in such a jumbled half, but Brands is on fire this year, up to 67 in the rankings. That’s one off his career high and means that he has qualified (or in one case gotten a lucky loser) in every ATP event he has entered this year. He made quarters in Bucharest, his 2nd quarterfinal showing this year, and now will be playing in his native country in front of home fans, many of whom are anxious to get on the Brandswagon.
Brands should beat Kamke, and Melzer and Monfils are both struggling. After that, Tipsarevic is obviously very beatable, as is Bellucci or Zemlja. In the semis, Kohlschreiber has also shown weaknesses and a final is very well possible for him.
Brands d. Kohlschreiber
Haas d. Dolgopolov
There is really nothing in the way of Kohlschreiber making the semis. Meanwhile Mayer, Gulbis/Nieminen or Haas could all make the semis in that tough section, but I’ll go with Haas and the other section should come down to Dolgopolov or Cilic. Dolgopolov is inconsistent but I’ll go with him. Haas won their meeting this year in Miami in straights.
Brands d. Haas
Rosol won his first title last week. Brands, who plays somewhat similarly, is almost tracking in his footsteps. Thus, I’ll hop on the Brandswagon and say he takes the title here.
ATP World Tour 250
April 29-May 4, 2013
Prize Money: (euro sign) 410,200
This event changed it’s name, formerly known as the Estoril Open, it is now called the Portugal Open, and the official city was switched from Estoril to Oeiras, but it is the same joint ATP/WTA event for the same points. They aren’t exactly a blogger-friendly tournament.
Top 4 seeds: (who all receive first round byes)
1: David Ferrer
2: Stanislas Wawrinka
3: Andreas Seppi
4: Fabio Fognini
First round matchups to watch:
Carlos Berlocq vs. Albert Ramos
They are ranked closely together, at 64 and 57. Berlocq is 5 years older, and both have positive records on the ATP tour this year. Furthermore, they are both enjoyable players to watch if you like traditional clay court tennis. Berlocq won their only meeting ever, this year in Sao Paulo, while Ramos comes off quarters in Barcelona.
David Ferrer suffered a shocking 2nd round loss to Dmitry Tursunov in Barcelona, and will be looking to recover. He took a wild card here, and will play Gilles Muller or Edouard Roger-Vasselin followed by Benoit Paire/Igor Sijsling, Victor Hanescu or a qualifier.
Andreas Seppi will be looking for a good showing as he will face Alejandro Falla or Andrey Kuznetsov, and then could play Pablo Andujar, a qualifier, Dani Gimeno-Traver or Tommy Robredo, who is really showing some form once again (making the quarters in Barcelona).
Stan Wawrinka will play the Berlocq/Ramos winner in what could be a tough match and then could face Evgeny Donskoy, Denis Istomin, Horacio Zeballos or wild card Gastao Elias.
Fabio Fognini is at a career high ranking of 24, and will play a qualifier or countryman and Davis Cup teammate Paolo Lorenzi. After that it could be a qualifier, a struggling Julien Benneteau (who has lost 4 straight), Pedro Sousa, or the inconsistent but talented David Goffin.
Dark Horse: David Goffin
Goffin is a disappointing 6-11 this year on the ATP tour, but did show some signs of betterment in Bucharest, dispatching his first round opponent Adrian Ungur easily, and pushing eventual semifinalist Florian Mayer to 3 sets. Otherwise, he has only won consecutive matches this year in Miami. Still, he’s a young talent and maturing into the highest level of professional tennis.
D Goff gets an easy start against wild card Pedro Sousa, then a struggling Benneteau or a qualifier. If he gets Lorenzi or Fognini in the quarters, they are indeed beatable.
Ferrer d. Robredo
Fognini d. Wawrinka
Ferrer boasts a 6-2 record against Robredo, including a win on clay this year in Buenos Aires. In additions, he has to be motivated to get past his Barcelona loss and get back to his winning ways on clay.
Wawrinka has the H2H edge against Fognini 3-1 but Fognini won their match this year in Acapulco on clay and he is playing very sharp right now.
Ferrer d. Fognini
I would really love to pick Fognini in this projected meeting, as Fogna is playing some of his best tennis right now and as I mentioned is looking razor sharp. That being said, Ferrer has beaten Fognini 6 times, including 3 times this year and twice on clay. That kind of record speaks for itself.
I’m not totally certain Ferrer is 100% but this field isn’t the most punishing around.
Del Po defends Estoril title, Kohlschreiber takes Munich, Seppi wins 2nd career title in Belgrade
By Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com
Juan Martin Del Potro successfully defended his title in Estoril, taking out 2 seed Richard Gasquet in the final, 6-4 6-2.
Del Potro cruised through his week in Estoril taking out Rui Machado, Albert Montanes and Stanislas Wawrinka in succession before finishing off Gasquet, who had beaten Paolo Lorenzi, Daniel Munoz-De La Nava and Albert Ramos to reach the final.
Aisam Qureshi of Pakistan and Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands took the doubles title over Austrian Julian Knowle and Spaniard David Marrero, 7-5 7-5.
Phillip Kohlschreiber captured the 2nd Munich title of his career (the other being in 2007) taking out Marin Cilic, 7-6 6-3. Kohlschreiber, the 4 seed and one of the home favorites, took out Ernest Gulbis, Marinko Matosevic and Feliciano Lopez, the 2 seed in 3 sets, to reach the final.
Cilic, the 3 seed, who continues to improve in his comeback efforts, took out ATP Bucharest semi-finalist Matthias Bachinger, Mikhail Youzhny and surprise semi-finalist Tommy Haas. Haas brought back memories of the past in his upset of top seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga earlier in the week, along with a victory over Marcos Baghadatis and a 1st round drubbing of countryman Michael Berrer.
Top seeds Frantisek Cermak and Filip Polasek, of the Czech Republic and Slovakia respectively, won the doubles title over Xaiver Malisse and Dick Norman of Belgium, 6-4 7-5.
Andreas Seppi won his 2nd career ATP World Tour title with a 6-3 6-2 victory over surprise finalist Benoit Paire of France. The Italian, Seppi, who was seeded 2nd, took out Ivan Dodig, Gilles Muller and 4 seed David Nalbandian in 3 sets to reach the final.
Paire upset 6 seed and ATP Bucharest finalist Fabio Fognini in the 1st round and followed it up with 3 set victories over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, 3 seed Jarkko Niemenen and top seed Pablo Andujar to reach the final.
Israeli Danger Duo Jonathan Erlich and Andy Ram won the Belgrade doubles title over Martin Emmrich and Andreas Siljestrom.
2012 ATP Munich Preview
by Steen Kirby, TennisEastCoast.com
ATP World Tour 250
April 30-May 5, 2012
Prize Money: € 398,250
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Nicolas Almagro and Feliciano Lopez headline the field at the BMW Munich Open on the clay courts, where veteran Russian Nikolay Davydenko will try to defend his title.
Top 4 Seeds (who all receive 1st round byes)
1: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
2: Feliciano Lopez
3: Marin Cilic
4: Phillip Kohlschreiber
1st round matchups to watch:
Michael Berrer vs. Tommy Haas
2 veteran Germans wild card beneficiaries will duke it out. Berrer’s serve and volleying style creates an interesting match-up with Haas, whose game is well suited for clay.
Alejandro Falla vs. Matthias Bachinger
Bucharest semi-finalist and local favorite Bachinger will take on the Colombian Falla.
Cedrik Marcel-Stebe vs. Sergiy Stakhovsky
The promising young German Stebe is fun to watch and will take on Ukrainian Stakhovsky, who fell to Andy Murray last week in Barcelona.
Top seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will face either Haas or Berrer before a possible match-up with another German, Daniel Brands (a wildcard), 8 seed Marcos Baghdatis, a qualifier or Tobias Kamke. If Kamke advances as expected, he will likely face 3 seed Marin Cilic.
Cilic will open up against Bachinger or Falla, followed by a match-up with 6 seed Mikhail Youzhny, Petzschner, Santiago Giraldo or Steve Darcis of Belgium.
2 seed Feliciano Lopez will start off against Stebe or Stakhovsky before a possible match-up with 5 seed Bernard Tomic (Potito Starace, Olivier Rochus or a qualifier are also possibilities). He would likely face 4 seed Phillip Kohlschreiber in the semis.
Kohlschreiber will face Xaivier Malisse or Ernest Gulbis. If he can advance he will face Mikhail Kukukshkin, Nikolay Davydenko or a qualifier.
Dark Horse: X-Man Xaiver Malisse
Malisse, a former top 25 player who knocked off 2 seed Florian Mayer last week in Bucharest, will face Ernest Gulbis in the 1st round. If he advances, he will face the 4 seed Kohlschreiber, who lost to Tsonga in Monte Carlo. If he can pull off the upset, he will likely face Kukushkin or Daveydenko. Though he won’t be favored, all his matches are winnable.
Tsonga d. Cilic
Lopez d. Kohlschreiber
Lopez d. Tsonga
Lopez, a semi-finalist on the clay in Houston will try and overcome a tough 3 set loss to David Ferrer in the Barcelona quarterfinals and capture the title in Munich.
On one other note, Pablo Andujar is the top seed in Belgrade as Novak Djokovic chose to skip his own tournament (partly owned by the Djokovic family). Andreas Seppi, Jarkko Nieminen and David Nalbandian are also in the field. The other top Serbian players, Janko Tipsarevic and Viktor Troicki, also chose to skip ATP Belgrade.