Scouting Report: Rublev & Kyrgios Headline Washington, Medvedev Returns In Los Cabos
All of this week's action will be on North American hard courts with an ATP 500 event in Washington and an ATP 250 in Los Cabos.
Andrey Rublev is the top seed at the Citi Open, where other players include 2019 champion Nick Kyrgios and former World No. 1 Andy Murray. Daniil Medvedev, the current No. 1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, returns to action at the Abierto de Tenis Mifel. ATPTour.com looks at what you should watch at each event.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN WASHINGTON
1) Rublev Top Seed: The top seed in the United States' capital, Rublev will try to claim his fourth ATP Tour title of the season. The 24-year-old, who has already triumphed in Marseille, Dubai and Belgrade this year, is no stranger to Washington. Rublev advanced to the semi-finals at the ATP 500 in 2018 as a 20-year-old. He will try to improve his 32-11 season record when he faces #NextGenATP Briton Jack Draper or American wild card Stefan Kozlov in the first round.
2) Fritz & Opelka Lead American Charge: The top two Americans in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings, Taylor Fritz and Reilly Opelka, lead a strong contingent from their country at the Citi Open, where they are seeded third and fourth, respectively. Fritz has enjoyed the best season of his career, winning his first ATP Masters 1000 title at the BNP Paribas Open, and he is ninth in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Turin as he tries to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time. Opelka, a champion in Dallas and Houston this year, could face countryman and close friend Tommy Paul, the 14th seed, in the third round.
Other Americans to watch include 13th seed Maxime Cressy, the recent Newport titlist, who is seeded to face Rublev in the third round. Frances Tiafoe, who will have the local support because he is from nearby Maryland, is the 10th seed.
3) Nick Back For More: One of the best runs of Kyrgios’ career came in 2019 at the Citi Open, where he defeated Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas in back-to-back matches to claim his second ATP 500 trophy. In his first singles appearance since reaching the Wimbledon final — he withdrew from singles in Atlanta due a left knee injury — Kyrgios will try to emerge victorious again in Washington. The Australian will open against American Marcos Giron, with the winner playing Paul in the second round.
4) Murray On The March: At the start of the season, Murray was No. 134 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. On Monday, he will be World No. 50 and eager to climb higher with a good performance in Washington. The former World No. 1 owns a 7-2 record at the Citi Open, where he advanced to the final in 2006 and made the quarter-finals in 2018, his most recent appearance. Murray, who has made finals this year in Sydney and Stuttgart, will face Swede Mikael Ymer in the first round, with the winner facing 15th seed Aslan Karatsev.
Photo Credit: Richard Kessler/Citi Open
5) Star-Studded Doubles Field: The top seeds in the Washington doubles draw are Rajeev Ram and Horacio Zeballos, who will play together for the second time after losing in the first round at Roland Garros in 2015. The field is loaded with talent, with unseeded teams including 2019 year-end No. 1s Juan Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah, 2016 year-end No. 1s Jamie Murray/Bruno Soares, Nick Kyrgios/Jack Sock and Nicolas Mahut/Edouard Roger-Vasselin. The second seeds, Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski, have won five titles together this year and lead the Pepperstone ATP Doubles Team Rankings.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN LOS CABOS
1) Medvedev Back In Action: World No. 1 Medvedev will compete for the first time since June in Mallorca when he takes to the court in Los Cabos, where he is making his debut. The 26-year-old will try to earn his first ATP Tour title of the season having already reached three finals, including one at the Australian Open. Medvedev will be happy to be back on hard courts, on which he has lifted 12 of his 13 tour-level trophies. He opens his tournament in Mexico against wild card Rodrigo Pacheco Mendez or a qualifier.
2) Felix Seeded Second: Medvedev is not the only Top 10 player in the draw, as Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime is seeded second. Another debutant, Auger-Aliassime will try to snap a three-match losing streak when he faces Australian John Millman or Mexican wild card Alex Hernandez in the second round. The 21-year-old has shown great consistency this year, reaching nine quarter-finals and helping his country to the ATP Cup trophy in January.
3) Norrie Defending Champion: Cameron Norrie has taken the ATP Tour by storm over the past year, and it all started in Los Cabos. In 2021, the British lefty began his week at the ATP 250 without a title to his name. After lifting the trophy, he claimed an ATP Masters 1000 crown at Indian Wells, competed in the Nitto ATP Finals, cracked the Top 10 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings this April and clawed into his first major semi-final at Wimbledon. Norrie returns to Los Cabos to defend his title as the third seed. He will play #NextGenATP Chun-hsin Tseng or a qualifier in the second round.
Photo Credit: Abierto Los Cabos
4) Nakashima Rising: #NextGenATP American Brandon Nakashima advanced to his first tour-level championship match in Los Cabos last year and will try to secure his maiden crown at the same event this week. The 20-year-old, who turns 21 Wednesday, is eighth in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Milan and is trying to qualify for the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals for the second consecutive year. Nakashima, the sixth seed in Los Cabos, will play a qualifier in the first round.
5) Wimbledon Champs Headline Doubles Field: Australians Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell headline the Los Cabos doubles draw in their second tournament together since winning Wimbledon. The second seeds will try to bounce back after a quarter-final loss in Atlanta against countrymen Jason Kubler and John Peers. The top seeds in Los Cabos are Santiago Gonzalez and Andres Molteni, who have earned four ATP Tour titles together in the past 10 months.