Tsitsipas & Wawrinka On Rotterdam QF Collision Course
The last time that World No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas and three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka clashed, they produced an epic and entertaining battle that went down to the wire. Now, they’re on track for another showdown at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.
Four of the Top 10 players in the FedEx ATP Rankings, led by World No. 3 Daniil Medvedev, are heading to Rotterdam for the first ATP 500 tournament of the season. There are several mouthwatering first-round matches to watch – not to mention the blockbuster action in store should the seeds win through.
Headlining a stacked bottom half of the draw, Tsitsipas and Wawrinka are on a quarter-final collision course. The pair contested one of the best matches of the 2019 season at Roland Garros, with Wawrinka coming away the victor after more than five hours, 7-6(6), 5-7, 6-4, 3-6, 8-6. But the eighth-seeded Swiss will have to overcome a major test right out of the gate as he drew one of the toughest first-round opponents: an unseeded Karen Khachanov.
Former World No. 1 Andy Murray has also landed in the bottom half of the draw. The 2009 champion returned to Rotterdam with a wild card, and will begin his campaign against Robin Haase. The winner would have to get through No. 4 seed Andrey Rublev in the second round. Rublev will face a qualifier, and could take on No. 6 seed David Goffin in the quarter-finals.
Top seed Medvedev starts his own campaign against Dusan Lajovic as he seeks his first title in Rotterdam. But a trophy would just be the icing on the cake for the Russian, who is looking to overtake Rafael Nadal and rise to the No. 2 spot in the FedEx ATP Rankings for the first time.
Medvedev only has to make the final to become the first player outside the Big Four — Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray — to hold a top two spot since Lleyton Hewitt was World No. 2 back in 2005.
But he could face a stern test in the quarter-finals in the form of seventh seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, should the Canadian get past former World No. 4 Kei Nishikori in his own first-round battle. An Australian will await the winner in the second round, either John Millman or Alex de Minaur. Third seed Alexander Zverev and fifth seed Roberto Bautista Agut have also landed in Medvedev’s half of the draw.