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Scouting Report: Sinner returns to action in Rotterdam; Alcaraz & Fritz defend titles in Buenos Aires, Delray Beach

An executive summary of what every fan should know about the coming week
February 11, 2024
Jannik Sinner, Carlos Alcaraz and Taylor Fritz will be in action this week.
Pete Staples/Corinne Dubreuil/ATP Tour
Jannik Sinner, Carlos Alcaraz and Taylor Fritz will be in action this week. By ATP Staff

For the second straight week on the ATP Tour, a trio of events spanning three continents will host some of the top players in men's tennis. 

At the ABN AMRO Open in Rotterdam — the first ATP 500 event of 2024 — Jannik Sinner makes his first competitive appearance since winning his first major title at the Australian Open. Elsewhere, the two ATP 250s on the calendar will see Carlos Alcaraz and Taylor Fritz defend their respective titles at the IEB+ Argentina Open in Buenos Aires and the Delray Beach Open.

ATPTour.com breaks down five things to watch at each event.

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FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN ROTTERDAM
1) Sinner's Return:
Fresh off his breakthrough run to the Aussie Open title, where he beat Novak Djokovic and Daniil Medvedev in the final two rounds, Sinner is the top seed in Rotterdam thanks to his career-high Pepperstone ATP Ranking of World No. 4. The Italian also defeated Botic van de Zandschulp in the first round of his Melbourne run, and he will again meet the Dutchman to open this week's campaign.

With defending Rotterdam champion Daniil Medvedev not competing this week due to a right foot injury, Sinner has a prime opportunity to close the gap or even pass Medvedev for World No. 3.

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2) Rublev's Rough Draw: Second seed Andrey Rublev could open against a qualifier, but his potential path to the weekend could go through a resurgent Felix Auger-Aliassime in the second round and the in-form Alex de Minaur in the quarters. Rublev edged De Minaur in four sets in the Australian Open fourth round before falling to Sinner in a straight-sets quarter-final defeat.

3) Rune Seeks Third SF Of Season: Third seed Holger Rune holds a 7-3 record in 2024, with a Brisbane final run and a Montpellier semi-final showing either side of a second-round Australian Open exit. The Dane will open against Roman Safiullin in his first event since Boris Becker stepped down as his lead coach.

4) Dutch Triple Threat: Van de Zandschulp is one of three home favourites in the Rotterdam draw, excluding potential qualifiers. He is joined by wild card Jesper de Jong, who will open against former World No. 3 Milos Raonic, and Tallon Griekspoor, who meets Lorenzo Musetti in the opening round.

5) Dodig/Krajicek Head Doubles Field: Last year's Year-End ATP Double No. 1 presented by Pepperstone honores will be the top seeds in Rotterdam. Entering as doubles World No. 4 and No. 3, respectively, Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek will face competition from the all-German team of Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz, as well as the all-French duo of Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

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FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN BUENOS AIRES
1) Alcaraz Defends Title:
One year after he won the Buenos Aires title in his 2023 season debut, Alcaraz will look to kickstart his 2024 campaign at the same event. After a disappointing quarter-final defeat to Alexander Zverev at the Australian Open, the Spaniard is back on the clay courts — the surface on which he has won seven of his 12 tour-level titles.

2) Jarry, Norrie Seek More Clay Success: Both Nicolas Jarry and returning Buenos Aires finalist Cameron Norrie won at least one clay title last season, with Norrie triumphing in Rio de Janeiro and Jarry victorious in both Santiago and Geneva. With both seeded this week in Argentina, can either man return to the winner's circle?

3) Can Cerundolo Bounce Back?: Francisco Cerundolo suffered a surprise first-round defeat to Jaume Munar as the top seed in Cordoba last week. Competing on home soil for the second straight event, the Buenos Aires native will be eager to improve upon his 2-5 tour-level record this season with a deep run in his home city.

4) Etcheverry, Baez Among Other Argentines: Argentina has three Top 30 players in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, and all three will compete in their nation's capital. Tomas Martin Etcheverry and Sebastian Baez also competed in Cordoba last week, with Baez the only one of the three to advance beyond the quarter-finals.

5) Fils Seeks Second Clay Crown: #NextGenATP Frenchman Arthur Fils won his first tour-level title last season on the clay of Lyon, and later closed the season by reaching the title match at the Next Gen ATP Finals. With a semi-final showing (Auckland) and a quarter-final run (Hong Kong) to his name already this season, could his return to clay end with a second trophy lift?

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN DELRAY BEACH
1) Defending Champ Fritz:
Fritz won the Delray Beach title last season at the event's top seed, and he will again lead the field this season in South Florida. The ATP 250 on home soil will be Fritz's second tour-level tournament of the season following a quarter-final run at the Australian Open that ended at the hands of Djokovic. The American No. 1 has also picked up two singles wins representing his country this year, one at United Cup and another at Davis Cup.

2) Paul Seeks More Home Success: After a deep run in Dallas, Tommy Paul is back in action on home soil for the second straight week. The 26-year-old, who featured in the latest season of Netflix's Break Point, reached a career-high Pepperstone ATP Ranking of No. 12 last October.

3) Tiafoe Back At Site Of Maiden Title: Frances Tiafoe won his first ATP Tour title at the 2018 Delray Beach Open with a wild-card run that included a victory against Juan Martin del Potro. The fan favourite's inclusion in the 2024 field means each of the top three Americans will be in action, along with Marcos Giron and #NextGenATP Alex Michelsen, as well as any American qualifiers. Last week in Dallas, Giron upset Tiafoe in the quarter-finals.

4) Mannarino Adds To Star Power: Adrian Mannarino, who played Giron in the Dallas semis, makes it four Top 20 stars in the Delray Beach draw. The 35-year-old also played into the weekend in Dallas, his first appearance since a marathon run at the Australian Open, where he won three straight five-setters to reach the fourth round before bowing out against Djokovic.

5) Aussie, Aussie, Aussie: Five Australians dot the Delray Beach main draw. Top 50 players Max Purcell and Jordan Thompson are joined by Aleksandar Vukic, Rinky Hijikata and James Duckworth.

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