Four tournaments spread across four continents. Rio de Janeiro, Dubai, Delray Beach & Marseille. Only one of these events is a WTA event this coming week that is because of a mix-up and the WTA didn’t book the Debrecen facilities for the event so no tournament can take place, however there is still plenty of tennis to be played.
Rio de Janeiro
Dominic Thiem is the top seed. The Austrian is back following his runners-up run at the Australian Open. Dominic is up against Felipe Meligeni Rodrigues Alves from Brazil in the first round. The local wildcard who is 21 and ranked at 341 in the world has never played a main draw match on the ATP tour but has played a lot of ITF and Challenger Events and is 160 in mens doubles right now.
Sadly Laslo Djere had to withdraw from the tournament. The Serb is set to plummet from 35 in the world to outside the top 70 as he won’t defend his title due to an abdominal injury picked up in Buenos Aires. Laslo is such a lovely and humble guy and I hope he gets well soon!
The top two in mens tennis are back together! Cabal and Farah will play together after Farah’s small ban following the failed drugs test where he was found to have been at “no fault” for the Benoldone in his system.
It is good to see Nick Kyrgios back in action. Nick is the top seed and only top 20 player. Milos Raonic is also in the draw but down at 32 at the moment.
American wildcards continue to be handed out like Candy for Jack Sock (no ranking) and Ryan Harrison (ranked 433) the former top 40 players have showed no hunger and little fight but continue to be recipients of wildcards. Make of that what you will. Just as an FYI, Jack Sock is winless in 15 months on the main tour but in his career has received 35 main draw wildcards and Ryan Harrison has received 46…
There are some interesting round one matches to look out for:
Milos Raonic v Andreas Seppi
Nick Kyrgios v Tommy Paul
John Millman v Yoshihito Nishioka
Nick Kyrgios is also in doubles action with Jordan Thompson and they begin their week against top seeds Mike and Bob Bryan.
Marseille has quite the pull. As per Rotterdam the top two seeds are Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Stefanos Tsitsipas has struggled this year but has also struggled in doubles. He has lost his last 13 doubles matches on the tour. This week he is partnered with his brother Petros and have been kindly drawn against top seeds from Germany in Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies.
As the week evolves it could be an interesting draw on their hands in Marseille. One to potentially watch out for in round two is Jannik Sinner against Daniil Medvedev, Tsitsipas will get either Gasquet or Ymer, Shapovalov will play either Cilic or Krajinovic and Karen Khachanov opens his week against Aljaz Bedene who gave Tsitsipas the run around in Rotterdam.
It is set for a packed week in Dubai. Simona Halep is back in action as is a certain Kim Clijsters. The main draw hasn’t kicked off yet but discussions and stories have come out of Dubai.
15 year Vera Pursnani was given a wildcard for the qualifying and no one knows why. Vera has never played a WTA event and only a handful of ITF events winning just one match. Vera is unranked and played Gabriela Dabrowska on Saturday and lost 0-6 0-6 winning just seven points in 31 minutes… it’s bizarre.
The draw in Dubai is full of the best in women’s tennis and you can read more about the opening round matches below:
A last minute pull-out from Kiki Bertens has resulted in a shift around in the draw. Elina Svitolina will be thanking the tennis gods as her round one match with Garbine Muguruza will no longer go ahead. Instead Elina will play a qualifier and Garbine Muguruza will take on Kim Clijsters.