Now is the time for the rebirth of the older players and for the newcomers to prove themselves. Now that the big champions and most of the in-form players don’t compete, gives a lot of chances for others to better their rankings. A great time to basket some points.
The line-ups are interesting and set to showcase some exciting clashes. I’m betting on the hunger and the enthusiasm of the players that don’t have so many opportunities for glory. An amazing chance for the older players to fill their glass cabinet and one for the youngsters – to start tasting the flavor of success.
Two 250 ATP events started: St. Petersburg Open and Moselle Open (Metz, France).
In the Russian tournament, already two veterans won their opening matches: Kohlschreiber and Baghdatis. The Cypriot needs this opportunity, as he struggled this year with numerous injuries. If healthy, he is a dangerous opponent to meet. Youzhny is another veteran that could boost his ranking. The Russian showed great signs of comeback during the US Open and during his match with Federer. Bautista Agut and Tsonga are the favorites and the youngsters look to make their mark in the game. Next Gen stars Borna Coric and Danil Medvedev are there with a chance of making a good run.
In the French event, Gilles Simon looks to overturn his disappointing year and go for the third Metz crown. He kept his record perfect against Seppi, the 2012 runner up. Simon was joined by Marius Copil in the second round. The Romanian lost just three of his service points and hit twelve aces. The serve is his main weapon. He will meet the defending champion, Lucas Pouille.
Gasquet, which has one of the most artistic one-hand backhand on the tour, has a hard opener against the unpredictable Istomin. Richard looks to win his first title of the year.
The spectacular Dustin Brown looks to keep the audience entertained when he meets the French veteran and doubles specialist, Nicolas Mahut.
The favourites are Carreno Busta and Goffin. Stefanos Tsitsipas is the youngest player in the draw and looks to win his first match on the tour when he meets the entertaining, but inconstant, Benoit Paire.