Scouting Report: Sinner Seeks Glory In Atlanta, Ruud Leads Kitzbühel Field
Some of tennis' brightest talents will be in action this week at ATP 250 events in Atlanta and Kitzbühel, respectively. Jannik Sinner headlines the field at the Truist Atlanta Open, a hard-court event in the United States. Norwegian Casper Ruud, who is on a seven-match winning streak, tops the draw on the clay of the Generali Open.
ATPTour.com looks at what you should watch at this week's tournaments.
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FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN ATLANTA
1) The Sinner Show: Sinner, the 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion, is the second seed in Atlanta. The Italian will make his debut at this ATP 250, where he will pursue his second title of the season. The 19-year-old sensation has lost three consecutive matches, but he has 24 tour-level wins in 2021 and is 13th in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin. Sinner will play American Denis Kudla or qualifier Christopher O'Connell in the second round.
2) Milos Back In Action: Former World No. 3 Milos Raonic is the top seed, and he will try to claim his first ATP Tour title since Brisbane in 2016. The Canadian star has won four of his eight tour-level crowns in the United States, and he will try to build up his form on his Atlanta tournament debut, which marks his first competition since Miami due to injury. Raonic will play Los Cabos finalist Brandon Nakashima or another American, wild card Trent Bryde, in his opening match.
3) Norrie Rolling: Few players have as much momentum as Briton Cameron Norrie, who earned his first ATP Tour title on Saturday evening in Los Cabos. That was the lefty’s fourth final of the season, and he has now claimed 35 tour-level match wins in 2021. Norrie has made the Atlanta semi-finals in both of his previous appearances in 2018 and 2019. Seeded third this year, he will begin his run against former World No. 5 Kevin Anderson or Aussie Nick Kyrgios.
Watch Highlights Of Norrie's Los Cabos Triumph:
4) Strong American Contingent: There are 12 Americans in the Atlanta singles draw. Three of them — Reilly Opelka, Taylor Fritz and John Isner — are seeded. An American has won eight of the tournament’s 10 previous editions, with five of those victories going to Isner. The 36-year-old owns a 31-5 record in Atlanta.
5) Nick In Atlanta: Nick Kyrgios has long enjoyed success at this event, where he lifted the singles trophy in 2016. The Aussie will do double duty in Georgia this year, as he will also play doubles with close friend Jack Sock, with whom he triumphed in Lyon in 2018. The top seeds in the doubles draw are Britons Luke Bambridge and Ken Skupski.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN KITZBÜHEL
1) Ruud Awakening: Ruud is enjoying the best season of his career, and he will try to claim a title for the third consecutive week in Kitzbühel. The Norwegian, who is on a seven-match winning streak, is fresh off triumphs in Bastad and Gstaad, where he lost a total of one set. Ruud, also a champion in Geneva this year, will begin his tournament in Austria against qualifier Lukas Neumayer or lucky loser Mario Vilella Martinez.
Watch Highlights Of Ruud's Gstaad Win:
2) RBA Going For No. 10: Second seed Roberto Bautista Agut is a nine-time ATP Tour titlist. Will this be the week the Spaniard claims his 10th trophy? The 33-year-old most recently made the fourth round at Wimbledon. He will try to make a good start in Kitzbühel against former World No. 10 Lucas Pouille or countryman Pedro Martinez.
3) Amazing Alcaraz: #NextGenATP star Carlos Alcaraz claimed his first ATP Tour crown on Sunday evening in Umag. The 18-year-old will attempt to maintain his momentum in Austria, where he is the 10th seed. The Spaniard will face wild card Alexander Erler in the first round.
Watch Alcaraz Clinch The Umag Title:
4) More #NextGenATP Players To Watch: Alcaraz is not the only #NextGenATP star competing in Kitzbühel. Denmark’s Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune and Brazilian Thiago Seyboth Wild will try to make their mark on the clay. Rune battled through qualifying, and Seyboth Wild received a wild card.
5) Brkic/Cacic Top Doubles Draw: The top seeds in the doubles draw are Tomislav Brkic and Nikola Cacic. They won their first ATP Tour title together earlier this year in Buenos Aires and have also made the final in Marbella and Umag. The second seeds are Hugo Nys and Andrea Vavassori.