Scouting Report: Tsitsipas & Fritz Lead Rotterdam & Dallas Fields; Del Potro Returns in Buenos Aires
A second consecutive three-tournament week on the ATP Tour will see action in Rotterdam, Buenos Aires and Dallas.
Stefanos Tsitsipas is the top seed in his return to the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament, an ATP 500 event on indoor hard courts in the Netherlands. Casper Ruud leads the field at the Argentina Open (clay), while American Taylor Fritz is the top seed at the Dallas Open (indoor hard), with both of those events classed as ATP 250s.
In addition, Juan Martin del Potro will take the court for the first time since 2019 in Buenos Aires in what may be one of the last events of his career.
ATPTour.com looks ahead at five things to watch at each event.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN ROTTERDAM:
1) Top Seed Tsitsipas: The Greek has played in Rotterdam every year since 2017 (including a 2018 qualifying loss) and holds a 4-4 record at the hardcourt event. He reached the semi-finals one year ago before bowing out against eventual champion Andrey Rublev.
After a run to the Australian Open semi-finals, Tsitsipas hopes to put his recent elbow injury firmly behind him with another deep run. Following ATP Cup and the year’s first Slam, Rotterdam will be his third event since right-elbow surgery in late 2021.
2) Defending Champ Rublev: Like Tsitsipas, Rublev has also competed in Rotterdam each of the past five years. His 2021 title run saw him defeat Marton Fucsovics in the final after beating Tsitsipas and Andy Murray earlier in the draw.
At the start of the season, the Russian got off to a strong start with two dominant Australian Open wins before Marin Cilic ended his run in the third round. Seeded second in Rotterdam, he’ll open against a qualifier, with a potential all-Russian quarter-final against seventh seed Aslan Karatsev two rounds ahead.3) Murray Added Late: Murray accepted a late wild card and will make his seventh appearance in Rotterdam, where he beat Rafael Nadal in the 2009 final. He lost to Rublev in the second round last year and will now face Montpellier champion Alexander Bublik in the first round.
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Murray has already reached the Sydney Tennis Classic final in 2022, his first tour-level title match since his 2019 Antwerp victory. He then showed his trademark fighting spirit in a five-set win over Nikoloz Basilashvili at the Australian Open, but could not repeat that performance in a second-round loss to Japan’s Taro Daniel.
4) O Canada: After leading their nation to the 2022 ATP Cup title, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov both came within one set of the Australian Open semi-finals in a pair of impressive runs. Auger-Aliassime led Daniil Medvedev (who withdrew from Rotterdam) by two sets to none in their quarter-final matchup, while Shapovalov forced a fifth set against eventual champion Nadal in the last eight.
Both seeded in Rotterdam, each Canadian drew a qualifier in the first round. Placed in opposite halves of the draw, they’ll hope to meet in the final.
5) Former Champ Tsonga: The 2017 Rotterdam champion enters this year’s event with some momentum after picking up his first win since March 2019 at the Open Sud de France. While he ultimately lost to fifth seed Filip Krajinovic, 6-4, 7-6(2), in the second round, the former World No. 5 showed signs that his game is rounding into form.FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN BUENOS AIRES
1) Delpo’s Farewell?: Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro revealed on Saturday that Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro may be the last two tournaments of his career. Though he stopped short of announcing his retirement in an emotional press conference, the 34-year-old’s first-round match against countryman Federico Delbonis is now a must-watch.
2) Ruud’s Return: Casper Ruud withdrew from the Australian Open after an ankle twist just before the event. His only previous action this season came at the ATP Cup, where he posted a 2-1 record for Norway, including a win over Cristian Garin. He’ll face Roberto Carballes Baena or a qualifier in his first match.
3) Home Favourites: Despite having top seed Diego Schwartzman as one of 10 Argentines in the Cordoba Open draw, there was no home representation in that final. Defending champion Schwartzman again takes top billing amongst his countryman as the second seed in Buenos Aires, where seven Argentines (not including potential qualifiers) will compete in the main draw.
4) Sonego’s Start: The Italian has recorded at least one win in each of his three 2022 events, including a third-round run as the 25th seed at the Australian Open. In his opening clash, Sonego will look to keep that streak alive against either Sebastian Baez or Holger Rune, both of whom accepted wild cards into the event.
Bolleli/Gonzalez Top Seeds In Doubles: Simone Bolelli and Maximo Gonzalez will aim to win their fourth tour-level crown as a team in Buenos Aires. They will face competition from second seeds Fabio Fognini and Horacio Zeballos, third seeds Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar and fourth seeds Tomislav Brkic and Nikola Cacic.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN DALLAS
1) Fritz First: The 24-year-old is getting used to life as the American No. 1, but said he won’t take too much pride until he can improve his ATP Ranking to go along with it. After a run to the Australian Open fourth round—his first time beyond the third round at a Slam—Fritz enters Dallas at a career-high of No. 20. He will open against either Oscar Otte or wild card Jack Sock.
2) Cressy Seeks Top 50: Fresh off his run to the Australian Open fourth round—where he gave Medvedev all he could handle in four sets—former UCLA star Maxime Cressy enters Dallas as the sixth seed. Now sitting at a career-high ATP Ranking of No. 59, the serve-and-volley specialist could crack the Top 50 with a few more wins. He faces a qualifier in the opening round, then gets either wild card Caleb Chakravarthi (a senior at tournament host Southern Methodist University) or another qualifier in the second round.
3) Brooksby’s Back: After missing the Australian swing, fast-rising 21-year-old Jenson Brooksby makes his 2022 tour-level debut as the fourth seed in Dallas. Last year’s Newport finalist competed in the Columbus Challenger in late January, losing to Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka in the semi-finals. Brooksby is one of 14 Americans in the Dallas draw, not including potential qualifiers.
4) Bigger In Texas: We’ll see some big men and some bigger serves in a fascinating little section of the draw. Kevin Anderson (6’ 8”) and Sam Querrey (6’ 6”) are set to play in the first round, with the winner taking on third seed John Isner (6’ 10”), who receives a bye as the third seed. Expect a tie-break or two.
5) A 30-Year Return: One of America’s longest-running tournaments takes anchor in the Lone Star State with the relocation of the New York Open. Now the Dallas Open, the 2022 event marks the ATP Tour’s return to the city for the first time in more than 30 years.