Scouting Report: 15 Things To Watch In Rotterdam, New York & Buenos Aires
Once again this coming week there will be three ATP Tour events on three continents, led by the first ATP 500 tournament of the season in Rotterdam, home of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. World No. 5 Daniil Medvedev leads the field there in hopes of capturing his first title of the season.
In the Western Hemisphere, John Isner is the top seed at the New York Open. The big-server will try to become the second straight American to win that ATP 250, while Diego Schwartzman is the No. 1 seed at the Argentina Open in Buenos Aires.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN ROTTERDAM
1) Top 20 Stars: There is a stacked field in Rotterdam, with 10 of the Top 20 players in the FedEx ATP Rankings action, including four members of the Top 10.
2) Medvedev Magic: Medvedev reached an ATP Tour-leading nine finals in 2019. The Russian will try to make his first of the season in Rotterdam. He has made at least the quarter-finals in each of his two appearances at this event, losing to Gael Monfils in the semi-finals last year.
3) Gael Goes For Glory Again: Monfils earned one of the biggest titles of his career here last season, navigating a tough draw that included David Goffin, Medvedev and Stan Wawrinka. The Frenchman, who also made the 2016 final in Rotterdam, is the third seed.
4) Tsitsipas-Hubi Headline Incredible Openers: There are plenty of exciting first-round matches at this ATP 500, including a clash between second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and Hubert Hurkacz. Fifth seed Fabio Fognini plays Karen Khachanov, eighth seed Denis Shapovalov faces Grigor Dimitrov, and seventh Andrey Rublev will battle fellow big-hitter Nikoloz Basilashvili.
5) Doubles Stars Galore: Seventeen of the 32 players in the Rotterdam doubles draw have competed in doubles in the Nitto ATP Finals. Top seeds Kevin Krawietz/Andreas Mies, second seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert/Nicolas Mahut and fourth seeds Jean-Julien Rojer/Horia Tecau were three of the eight teams that played in the season finale at The O2 last year.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN NEW YORK
1) Isner Leads The Way: Isner is the No. 1 American, and he is also the top seed in this tournament’s third New York edition. Its previous location was Memphis. Isner advanced to the semi-finals last year, losing to eventual champion Reilly Opelka.
2) Reilly’s Return: Opelka made his breakthrough at the New York Open, reaching his first ATP Tour final and lifting his first tour-level trophy. The American won back-to-back final-set tie-breaks against Isner and Brayden Schnur to claim victory on Long Island. He went on to enjoy the best season of his young career, climbing as high as World No. 31 last October.
3) Former Top 5 Players: Second seed Milos Raonic, former World No. 3, and 2018 New York Open champion Kevin Anderson, former World No. 5, are the two former Top 5 players in the field. Both men have reached at least one Grand Slam final. Raonic is a three-time champion at this event, winning it from 2011-13 when it was held in Memphis.
4) 2019 Milan Competitors In NY: Two players who competed in the 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals, Ugo Humbert and Miomir Kecmanovic, are seeded fourth and sixth, respectively. Both men are making their tournament debuts in New York.
5) Aussie Momentum: American Tennys Sandgren fell short against Roger Federer in five sets in the Australian Open quarter-finals, and he will look to maintain his momentum in New York, where play is contested on black hard courts. Sandgren has played at this event in each of the two editions held on Long Island.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN BUENOS AIRES
1) Argentines Leading The Way: Like in Cordoba, Schwartzman and Guido Pella are the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds, respectively. Schwartzman made the Buenos Aires final last year, upsetting Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals. An Argentine will try to lift the trophy for the first time since 2008, when David Nalbandian did it.
2) Lajovic In Action: Serbian Dusan Lajovic, who made a clay-court ATP Masters 1000 final in Monte-Carlo last year, is the third seed. He reached the quarter-finals in Buenos Aires in 2016, and will be chasing his second ATP Tour title.
3) Coric’s Charge: Borna Coric, the 23-year-old who has climbed as high as World No. 12, is making his tournament debut. The Croat owns a higher winning percentage — 56.5 per cent — on clay than on any other service.
4) Cecchinato The Champ: Italian Marco Cecchinato beat Schwartzman in last year's final to claim his third ATP Tour title. Although he is unseeded this year, Cecchinato did not lose a set in Buenos Aires last year.
5) Granollers/Zeballos Top Seeds: Marcel Granollers and Horacio Zeballos are the top seeds in the doubles draw. The Spanish-Argentine duo won its first title together at last year’s ATP Masters 1000 Canada event in Montreal.