Scouting Report: 10 Things To Watch In Rotterdam & Buenos Aires
There will be plenty of mouthwatering action on tap with two ATP Tour events this week, led by the first ATP 500 tournament of the year at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam. World No. 3 Daniil Medvedev headlines the field, hoping to add his name to the prestigious event’s legendary honour roll.
In South America, the second leg of the “Golden Swing” will head to Buenos Aires for the Argentina Open. Top seed Diego Schwartzman will hit the clay courts of the ‘Cathedral of Argentine Tennis’ as he continues his quest to lift his first ATP Tour trophy on home soil.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN ROTTERDAM
1) Medvedev’s Road To No. 2: After reaching his second Grand Slam final at the Australian Open, top seed Medvedev arrives in Rotterdam looking for his first individual title of the year (Russia won the ATP Cup). A maiden trophy at the ATP 500 event would just be the icing on the cake: Medvedev needs to reach the final to rise to a career-high No. 2 in the FedEx ATP Rankings. If the Russian accomplishes the feat, he will 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 the week of 18 July 2005.
2) Top-Shelf Talent: Four of the Top 10 and eight of the Top 20 in the FedEx ATP Rankings will compete in Rotterdam. World No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas, No. 7 Alexander Zverev and No. 8 Andrey Rublev round out the top four seeds.
3) Unseeded & Looming Large: The draw handed 2015 champion and Stan Wawrinka one of the toughest first-round tests in the form of unseeded Russian Karen Khachanov, the 2018 Rolex Paris Masters champion. Former World No. 1 and 2009 Rotterdam winner Andy Murray is also in the mix after receiving a wild card, and could face Rublev in the second round.
4) Goffin Coming In Hot: Sixth seed David Goffin storms into the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament with momentum after winning the Open Sud de France in Montpellier on Sunday. The Belgian had not previously won a title since Tokyo in 2017. Goffin, who reached the final of this event in 2017, will play big-hitting German Jan-Lennard Struff in the first round.
5) Double The Action: The top-ranked doubles team in the world, Colombian duo Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, leads the way in a strong doubles field that also features Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic as the No. 2 seeds. Familiar singles names join doubles heavyweights in an entertaining draw as Stefanos Tsitsipas pairs up with younger brother Petros Tsitsipas, and Russians Rublev and Khachanov compete together.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN BUENOS AIRES
1) Native Son: Diego Schwartzman was born and still resides in Buenos Aires. He is hoping his city can inspire him to lift his first ATP Tour trophy on home soil. Schwartzman has won two of his three career titles on clay, the surface where he also reached the biggest final of his career at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia last year.
2) Home Hopes: Schwartzman is joined by seven countrymen in the main draw, all looking to become first Argentine to win in Buenos Aires since David Nalbandian in 2008. Other Argentine champions include Guillermo Coria (2004), Gaston Gaudio (2005) and Juan Monaco (2007).
3) The Dream Continues: Argentine Juan Manuel Cerundolo enjoyed a dream week at the Cordoba Open, where he won the title on his ATP Tour debut. The #NextGenATP lefty is in the Buenos Aires draw as a special exempt. He will play fellow Argentine lefty Federico Delbonis in the first round.
4) Garin Gets Going: Chile’s Cristian Garin is the No. 2 seed and he’s looking to jumpstart his season at the Argentina Open. Garin had to miss the Australian Open due to a wrist injury, and will be contesting his second match of the year when he begins his campaign. With Schwartzman also in the draw, Buenos Aires will see both of South America’s top-ranked singles players hit the court this week.
5) Doubles In Buenos Aires: Austin Krajicek and Franko Skugor are the top seeds at this ATP 250 event. Singles star Benoit Paire and Monaco's Romain Arneodo, who reached the Cordoba final, will try to go one step further in Buenos Aires.