Scouting Report: Coric And Sousa Take In Estoril – ATP World Tour
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Estoril, Istanbul, Munich Continue Clay Circuit: The ATP World Tour European clay court circuit moves on to Estoril, Istanbul and Munich. Estoril is a second-time tournament at the Clube de Ténis do Estoril although Portuguese tennis on the calendar goes back to the Tour’s inception in 1990. Istanbul is also a second-year tournament stop on the ATP World Tour. Munich is one of the oldest clay court tournaments on the ATP World Tour, which was first held in 1974. There are five of the Top 20 players in the April 18 Emirates ATP Rankings in action, led by World No. 13 David Goffin, No. 14 Gael Monfils and No. 15 Dominic Thiem in Munich, while in Estoril, No. 18 Gilles Simon and No. 20 Nick Kyrgios lead the way.
BMW OPEN BY FWU AG (Munich): The first of five German tournaments on the ATP World Tour calendar takes place at Munich’s Iphitos Tennis Club, which was first staged in 1974. The International Tennis Championships of Bavaria was first held in 1900. Germans have won the title six times since then, most recently Tommy Haas in 2013 (d.Kohlschreiber) in the tournament’s first all-German final since 1965. There are two former champions in the field: No. 1 German Philipp Kohlschreiber (2012, ‘07) and Mikhail Youzhny (2010). Last year’s champion is not returning World No. 2 Andy Murray, who won his first career ATP World Tour clay court title (d. Kohlschreiber). The seeds are: 1) David Goffin, 2) Gael Monfils, 3) Dominic Thiem, 4) Kohlschreiber, 5) Fabio Fognini, 6) Thomaz Bellucci, 7) Vasek Pospisil and 8) Alexander Zverev.
Goffin Top Seed: Goffin is the top seed in an ATP World Tour tournament for the third time in his career, the first this season. Last year, the top Belgian was the No. 1 seed in Bastad (bye, 2R, l. to eventual champion Paire) and in Gstaad (runner-up, l. to Thiem). The 25-year-old Belgian enters Munich for the third time (1-2) with an 18-7 match record on the season with SF showings at ATP Masters 1000 Indian Wells (l. to Raonic) and Miami (l. to Djokovic). He began the season with a 6-4 record in the first two months but since March he is 12-3.
Monfils on the Move: Monfils comes into Munich as the No. 2 seed and off to a career-best 20-6 start. In his last tournament he reached the final at ATP Masters 1000 Monte-Carlo (l. to Nadal). He also was runner-up in Rotterdam (l. to Klizan) and a quarter-finalist at the Australian Open and at ATP Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami. This is the Frenchman’s third Munich appearance, first since a second-round finish in 2013 (l. to Brands). He made his debut in 2008 (l. to Andreev in 1R).
del Potro Back on Clay: Wild card Juan Martin del Potro is playing in his first ATP World Tour clay court tournament since the week of May 13, 2013 at ATP Masters 1000 Rome (l. to Paire in 3R). This is also the Argentine’s second appearance in Munich, first since 2008 when he lost in the quarter-finals (l. to El Aynaoui). He has a 5-3 match record this season with a SF in Delray Beach (l. to Querrey) and second-round results at ATP Masters 1000 Indian Wells (l. to Berdych) and Miami (l. to Zeballos).
Thiem Improvement: Thiem, who is playing in his 10th tournament of the season, enters Munich with a 26-7 match record, which is the second-most wins on the ATP World Tour this year (only behind Djokovic-28). Last year he didn’t win his 26th match until his title run in Gstaad in August. The 22-year-old Austrian has won titles in Buenos Aires (d. Almagro) and the 500 level event in Acapulco (d. Tomic). He has played well on both surfaces with a 16-5 record on hard courts and 10-2 on clay.
Sascha Eyes Top 50: German No. 2 Alexander Zverev is projected to break the Top 50 Emirates ATP Rankings for the first time this week (April 25). The recently-turned 19-year-old has a 13-10 match record on the season and a year ago he entered Munich ranked No. 119. He opens against Malik Jaziri and the Tunisian beat Zverev 76 64 in the third round of Barcelona last week. With No. 41 Borna Coric the other teenager in the Top 50, it will mark the first time since Sept. 15, 2008 two teenagers were ranked in the Top 50. On that date, Marin Cilic and del Potro, both 19, were ranked No. 22 and No. 13, respectively.
Local Title Hopes: There are nine Germans in the main draw (three qualifiers),led by No. 27-ranked Kohlhschreiber, who is a two-time Munich champion and last year’s runner-up. The No. 1 German has a 24-9 tournament match record. The other local title hopes are: Alexander Zverev, Dustin Brown and Jan-Lennard Struff along with wild cards Maximilian Marter and Mischa Zverev. Former World No. 18 Florian Mayer, who has been sidelined with a groin injury since most of last year, qualified into his first main draw of the season. Other qualifiers are Matthias Bachinger and Nils Langer or Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (met in final qualifying round).
MILLENNIUM ESTORIL OPEN (Estoril): The second-year ATP World Tour 250 clay-court tournament will take place at the Clube de Ténis do Estoril. A Portuguese tournament on the ATP World Tour calendar has been a fixture since the Tour’s inception in 1990. In partnership with the Municipality of Cascais, the tournament will see fans enjoy greater proximity to the players and the action on court. There are three of the Top 25 players in the field, led by the top three seeds: 1) Gilles Simon, 2) Nick Kyrgios and 3) Benoit Paire. The others are: 4) Joao Sousa, 5) Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, 6) Borna Coric, 7) Leonardo Mayer, and 8) Pablo Carreno Busta.
Simon Top Seed: Simon is the top seed for the eighth time in his career in an ATP World Tour tournament, the first since last August in Winston-Salem (l. to Bedene in 2R after bye). In 2009, when Estoril was held in the other location, Simon came in as the top seed ranked No. 8. He lost in the quarter-finals (l. to Montanes). His lone title as top seed came in Bucharest in 2012 (d. Fognini). The Frenchman has an 11-8 record on the season with a quarter-final showing at ATP Masters 1000 Miami (l. to Goffin) and 4R at the Australian Open (l. to Djokovic in five sets).
Kyrgios Makes Clay Debut: Last year Kyrgios came into Estoril ranked No. 46 and he advanced to his maiden ATP World Tour final (l. to Gasquet). Now a year later the Next Generation 20-year-old Aussie star (turns 21 on Wednesday) is the youngest player in the Top 20 Emirates ATP Rankings at No. 20. The top Aussie is making his season debut on clay with a 14-4 overall match record. In February, he captured his first ATP World Tour title in Marseille (d. Cilic) and then reached the semi-finals in Dubai (ret. vs. Wawrinka) and ATP Masters 1000 Miami (l. to Nishikori).
Verdasco Wild Card: Former World No. 7 Fernando Verdasco comes into Estoril after reaching his 20th career ATP World Tour final in Bucharest (vs. Pouille). The 32-year-old Spaniard takes on countryman Carreno Busta in the first round.
Local Title Hopes: Portugal’s No. 1 player, Joao Sousa, is the country’s highest ranked player in the history of the Emirates ATP Rankings. The 27-year-old is ranked No. 34, just one spot off his career-high No. 33 on Nov. 9, 2015. In 2013, he became the first Portuguese native to win an ATP World Tour singles title in Kuala Lumpur. He is the No. 4 seed in the tournament. There are three other Portuguese players in the draw: Gastao Elias, a quarter-finalist in 2013-14, along with wild cards Frederico Ferreira Silva, who is ranked No. 253, and No. 392 Pedro Sousa.
TEB BNP PARIBAS ISTANBUL OPEN (Istanbul): The second staging of the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open at the spectacular Garanti Koza Arena, features a retractable roof on Centre Court and provides seating for 7,500 spectators. There are two other clay show courts and the clubhouse features a fitness centre, spa, swimming pool and restaurant. Turkey is the 36th different country an ATP World Tour tournament has been held in since the formation of the ATP World Tour in 1990. A year ago Federer won the inaugural title. This year’s seeds are: 1) Bernard Tomic, 2) Grigor Dimitrov, 3) Ivo Karlovic, 4) Federico Delbonis, 5) Marcel Granollers, 6) Jiri Vesely, 7) Teymuraz Gabashvili and 8) Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
Tomic Top Seed: No. 2 Aussie Bernard Tomic, is the top seed for the second straight week and makes his Istanbul debut after returning from a right wrist injury. Last week the 23-year-old Aussie returned in Bucharest and lost in his opening match (vs. Haase). He last played at ATP Masters 1000 Indian Wells where he retired in the third round (vs. Raonic) on 14 March. Tomic comes in with a 14-9 match record on the season and his best result is a runner-up in Acapulco (l. to Thiem).
Grigor No. 2 Seed: Dimitrov comes in as the No. 2 seed for the second year in a row with a 15-8 record on the season. He opened his clay court campaign in Monte-Carlo by reaching the second round. The 24-year-old Bulgarian, a three-time winner in 2014, reached the final in the second week of the season in Sydney (l. to Troicki),his best result to date. He also advanced to the semi-finals in Delray Beach (l. to Ram).
Jiri Turnaround: Vesely began the season with a 1-7 match record before turning things around with a semi-final in Marrakech (l. to Coric). He then followed with a third-round result at ATP Masters 1000 Monte-Carlo where he posted the biggest win of his career over No. 1 Djokovic in the second round before losing to eventual finalist Gael Monfils. The 22-year-old Czech Republic native is making his Istanbul debut.
Russians on the Rise: New Generation Russian teenager Karen Khachanov is a wild card entry into the main draw. Last week the 19-year-old qualified in Barcelona and posted three-set wins over Aljaz Bedene (plays in 1R Istanbul) and No. 17 Roberto Bautista Agut before falling to Alexandr Dolgopolov. He is projected to jump to around a career-high No. 130 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. Another Next Gen teenager, Russian Andrey Rublev, who last year came into Istanbul ranked No. 292, qualified into the main draw on Sunday. Rublev, who reached the second round last year, is ranked a career-high No. 154 on Mar. 21
Ivo Eyes 300th Win: The oldest player in the singles draw, 37-year-old Ivo Karlovic, makes his Istanbul debut. The No. 3 seed is trying to earn his 300th career match win (299-269). Hereturned in Monte-Carlo after being sidelined for six weeks with a knee injury. Karlovic is also looking for his first match win of the season (0-6).
Turks in Main Draw: Marsel Ilhan is the No. 1 player in Turkey at No. 152 after reaching a career-high No. 77 on Mar. 2, 2015. The 28-year-old has a 5-3 record in Challengers and 2-3 in ATP World Tour level play this season. The other Turk in the field is local wild card Cem Ilkel, a 20-year-old ranked No. 437. He is making his second Istanbul appearance. He is a member of the Turkish Davis Cup team.
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Scouting Report: Coric And Sousa Take In Estoril – ATP World Tour