The only US clay court tournament is an oddity, but a great chance to tune up a little for the European grind later on.
This should be Mardy Fish’s to lose, but depending on how much mental and physical energy he has, then I think Garcia-Lopez could be the biggest danger, with Zeballos possibly going deep if his backhand ignites.
Let’s look at some potential good 1st rounders, upsets and winners:
Top 1st Round Match: Ryan Harrison vs. Horacio Zeballos
Dark Horse: Horacio Zeballos
Defending Champion: Juan Ignacio Chela
Withdrawals: Kevin Anderson, Juan Ignacio Chela, Dennis ‘The Menace’ Istomin
Wildcards: Ryan Harrison, Ryan Sweeting, James Blake
My pick: Mardy Fish
A nice field for this one. I like Montanes in finals and think he will clean up but he hasn’t had the best results so I am sticking my neck out a bit. Mayer was my dangerman, but he withdrew, so I’m picking Andujar. He’s had some nice wins this year and could fly under the radar.
Top 1st Round Match: Fillipo Volandri vs. Julien Benneteau
Dark Horse: Pablo Andujar
Defending Champion: Stanislas Wawrinka
Withdrawals: Florian Mayer, Marcel ‘Steel Cut’ Granollers, Juan Carlos Ferrero
Wildcards: Marcos Baghdatis, Jeremy Chardy
My pick: Albert Montanes
Thanks for reading and check back next week for more tips, news and musings!