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ATP Week Ahead: Johannesburg, Santiago, Zagreb

Posted by gauloises1 on February 1, 2010

No rest for the wicked. Or alternatively … on the road again …

Johannesburg

Draw here.

With defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga not returning, the top four seeds are Gael Monfils, David Ferrer, Feliciano Lopez and Marco Chiudinelli. Lopez and Monfils both have nice draws so we could be looking at a fun semifinal given their different styles of play. Ferru has what seems like some potential pitfalls in the shape of Ivan Navarro and the winner of Somdev Devvarman / Xavier Malisse, and I have no idea who’s coming out of Chiudinelli’s quarter. I’m confused by Chiudinelli even having a quarter.

Predicted champion: David Ferrer, if he’s healthy and I really hope he is.

Santiago

Draw here.

A pretty good draw with no less than six Argies in it. Top seeds are defending champion Gonzo, Pico, Nose Job and Pablo Cuevas. At first glance Pico has the toughest draw, meeting Nicholas Massu in the first round before possibly having to contest with Juan Ignacio Chela, but if he can get through those matches, he shouldn’t have too much trouble getting to the semifinals – unless of course the potentially unstoppable force that is Potito Starace can be, well, unstoppable.  Gonzo shouldn’t realistically have any trouble either unless zombie Kubot can pull off another death-defying run, but Nose Job has to contend with Nico Lapentti in the first round and quite possibly last year’s finalist Chucho in the quarters. If he makes it that far.

Predicted champion: Gonzo. He kind of owns this tournament. Possibly literally.

Zagreb

Draw here.

I can’t believe it was only a year ago that Mario and Marin played in the final. Anyway, as one might expect it’s appropriately Croatian, with the host nation supplying three of the eight seeds (Marin Cilic, Ivo Karlovic and Ivan Ljubicic). It remains to be seen what the defending champion’s form is like after his feats at the Australian Open, and he doesn’t have the easiest draw, seeded to meet Ivo Karlovic in the quarters (they’ve never played before). Ljubicic, on the other hand, has quite a nice draw if he can overcome fellow oldie Arnaud Clement in the first round. The Melzer-Korolev quarter is just packed, and there’s a strong possibility of an all-Serbian quarterfinal between Troicki and Tipsy which could be … interesting, under the circumstances.

Predicted champion: Ljubicic. I think Marin may well go out early and Ljubicic will be looking for some home-ground redemption after losing in the R16 last year.

8 Responses to “ATP Week Ahead: Johannesburg, Santiago, Zagreb”

  1. Imtotallyrad said

    i for one really hope the ferrer wins because he is a sexy beast and doesnt win often enough, it would be cool if like him and feli could play in the final against each other because that would be alot of prettiness on court =)

    Santiago well now that the tournements been moved to Feña’s hometown it would kind of suck if he didnt win…im not super happy about nico v pico though i dont know which one of ‘ico’s to cheer for weather to go ‘n’ or ‘p’ =S

    and as for Zagreb i really dont care but seeing as i think Ljubicic is a cool guy i hope he wins it…just anyone but marin cilic can win it really i’ve started having horrible nightmares about cilic and im sure if he won they’ll only get worse

    • AmyLu said

      For some bizarre reason, Ferru really struggles against Feli (their head-to-head is 6-3 in favor of Feli and 2 of Ferru’s 3 wins came on clay) so I’m really hoping Feli’s not in the final if Ferru makes it there because I’d love for Ferru to win the title!

      My hopes for who will win each tournament, but most likely means they will lose since everyone I root for loses lately are: Ferru, Pico, and Marin.

      • Jenni said

        I feel like Ferru has a lot of trouble with Feli’s serve. It’s not a matchup I ever look forward to.

        • AmyLu said

          Me too. I just find it bizarre because Ferru’s one of the best returners so I would think his far better all-around game should trump Feli’s serve, but it definitely doesn’t translate that way on the court. I also don’t look forward to that matchup either, particularly since Ferru is one of my favorites and I don’t particularly like Feli.

          • Jenni said

            I just don’t *get* the whole Feliciano thing, to be honest. I’ve even seen him in person and it doesn’t happen for me.

            I don’t know if it’s a lefty serve thing (he has similar problems with Verdasco), or if Feli has some kind of mental hold over him (LOL, I know), but it’s incredibly frustrating. Every time I see that potential matchup in a draw I get really pissy and want to throw things.

            • AmyLu said

              I don’t get it either — and I’ve been close enough to Feliciano that I could touch him. I just find him annoying. I watched him practice in Cincinnati one year, and his coach kept telling him to hit forehands crosscourt and Lopez would ignore him and try to hit forehands down the line (which he was missing quite a bit). I wanted to strangle him for his idiocy, and I wasn’t even the one he was ignoring.

  2. lauren said

    Ferru seems rather good at discovering pitfalls these days, much to my great sadness.

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