We’re back to Germany and Colombia on the clay this week!
German Tennis Championships
This big clay event with the worst sponsor name is a nice stop for the players, staged in the handsome city of Hamburg.
German participation is surprisingly minimal this year. Phillip Kohlshcreiber spearheads them while Peter Gojowczyk gets a wildcard. Jan Struff makes up the numbers. Speaking of wildcards, Alex Dolgopolov and Fabio Fognini have been frustratingly inconsistent but both have the game to win the tournament. We shall watch them with interest.
Let’s break it down:
ATP Level: 500
Defending Champion: Fabio Fognini leads the field in Hamburg as he looks to retain the title he won last year with victory over Federico Delbonis. Iffy form of late however.
Nasty Floater: Martin Klizan - Coming back into form with an 18-7 record this year.
Up and Coming: Dominic Thiem – The 20 year old could cause some trouble but surrounded by clay court demons in the draw.
Slumping: Jerzy Janowicz – Can’t win a match right now. Time for a new coach perhaps?
On Fire: Roberto Bautista Agut – Having a career season so far; ranked 23 with a 28-15 record this year aad 1 title.
My pick: Philipp Kohlschreiber – Loves to play and win in Germay and should win his second ATP World Tour title of the season on home soil, following victory on clay in Dusseldorf (d. Karlovic).
Did You Know? The Rothenbaum Tennis Center, which features a retractable roof stadium seating 13,200 spectators – making it the largest centre court in Germany.
Claro Open Colombia
We return to Bogota for this tournaments 2nd edition. The country is on a high these days with success in soccer and a booming tourist industry. For its tennis players, Alejandro Falla came close last year to winning his home tournament and will hope to go one better. the tough left hanger has a chance. His fellow lefty countryman - Alejandro Gonzalez – is ranked 72 and comes in with a 6-14 record hoping to put on a good showing.
Quite a wide open field with Richard Gasquet the top seed and favorite but still seeking his first win of the season after 2 runner-up finishes this year.
Let’s break it down:
ATP Level: 250
Surface: Indoor Hard
Defending Champion: Ivo Karlovic – Won the inaugural edition and has enjoyed a good season so far. Making the transition from grass could be tricky however.
Nasty Floater: Samuel Groth – Had a breakthrough week in Newport but can he make the transition to clay in time?
Up and Coming: Vasek Pospisil – made his breakthrough in Bogota last year, reaching the semi-finals (l. to Falla) before going on to reach the Montreal semi-finals the following month
Slumping: Bernard Tomic – He’s running out of time to be considered dangerous with his results.
On Fire: Ivo Karlovic – The serve is not slowing down at 35 years old and could scorch through the draw.
My pick: Richard Gasquet – He has more class than the rest of the field if he can serve well.
Did You Know? The Claro Open Colombia will be staged at the Centro de Alto Rendimiento in Bogotá, the same venue that hosted an ATP World Tour event from 1997–2002.
Thanks for reading and check back next week for more picks!