A couple of pre-Olympic events to fit in this week and good chances for lesser names to earn some currency and points.
The Austrian town is back on the map and has attracted lots of quality German players and less South Americans than in previous years, possibly due to the Olympics only a week away.
Let’s break it down:
ATP Level: 500
Defending Champion: Robin Haase – Having a terrible year and hoping that former glory here gets him back on track.
Nasty Floater: Lukas Rosol – Nadal’s Wimbledon bogeyman is already through to round 2.
Veteran Watch: Filippo Volandri - The Italian vet is tough to out grind and could make the semis.
Up and Coming: Martin Klizan – Enjoying success on the Challenger circuit with 3 titles this year.
Slumping: Robin Haase – Brings a 13/17 record this year into the event.
On Fire: Phillip ‘PK’ Kohlschreiber – Still playing great regardless of the surface. Could be nice final against Mayer should they reach it.
My pick: Florian ‘Awkward Sauce’ Mayer – He should out fox the field, even Kohlschreiber.
Did You Know? The event returned to Kitzbuhel in 2011 after a one-year absence.
When Benoit Paire is your number 1 seed, you know you’ve got a weakened field! No disrespect to Benoit of course.
Let’s break it down:
ATP Level: 250
Surface: Outdoor Hard
Defending Champion: Ernests Gulbis – Opts to play clay this week instead. Who knows.
Nasty Floater: ‘Iron Mike’ Russell – Back to winning ways last week and could knock a few out.
Veteran Watch: ‘Professor’ Xavier Malisse – The X-Man competes for the 9th time and loves these courts.
Up and Coming: Jack Sock – You’ve heard the name by now but can the Nebraskan shine this week?
Slumping: James Blake – Sorta slumping for his age. No reason he can’t win a few matches here though.
On Fire: Matthew Ebden – More glowing than on fire with a few wins last week.
My pick: Sam Querry – The big man is nearly back to form, this is a great opportunity for another title.
Did You Know? This tournament is the longest running annual professional sporting event in Los Angeles.
Watch: L.A. Uncovered
Thanks for reading and check back next week for more picks and amusement!