ATP Picks: Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur

The Asian season officially begins, so we’re indoors (mostly) and ready to kick it back into gear for the Fall.

Thailand OpenBangkok

A strong field in Thailand with the top 4 seeds looking good to all make the semi-finals. Since indoor tennis rewards speed, look for big servers to make an impression. A potential 2nd round clash between Raonic and Karlovic could set an ace record.

Let’s break it down:

ATP Level: 250

Surface: Indoor Hard

Defending Champion: Andy Murray – Earns a break after winning the US Open.

Nasty Floater: Gael Monfils – Played well in Metz and ramping back up from injury.

Veteran Watch:
 Jarkko ‘The Flying Finn’ Nieminen – Did not play last week, but still plugging away on tour and capable of scaring top players.

Up and Coming: Tatsuma ‘Satsuma’ Ito – Gets Verdasco 1st round and could run him close, based on the way Verdasco is playing.

Slumping: Ivo Karlovic – Got bageled by Davydenko last week. Who bagels Karlovic?

On Fire: Richard Gasquet – If he can continue his US Open form, he’ll be playing on Sunday.

My pick: Janko Tipsarevic – The Serb is battle hardened and playing well, which is what it takes to win on tour.

Malaysian OpenKuala Lumpur

More money available here but the field is weaker than Thailand. Nevertheless, it should throw up some interesting match-ups.

Alex ‘The Dog’ Dolgopolov has a decent draw and could mount a challenge to Ferrer.

Let’s break it down:

ATP Level: 250

Surface: Indoor Hard

Defending Champion:
Janko Tipsarevic – The champ skips to try his hand in Thailand instead.

Nasty Floater:
Brian Baker – After a magical summer, can he keep it going indoors?

Veteran Watch:
Julien Benneteau – Shows little sign of aging and still looking for that elusive 1st title.

Up and Coming: Martin Klizan – Came up big in St.Petersburg and if he can beat Davydenko, has a nice path through the draw.

Slumping: Juan ‘Pico’ Monaco – A disappointing Davis Cup could have dampened his spirits but Pico needs to hit back.

On Fire: David ‘The Wall’ Ferrer – The human torch stays alight into the Fall season.

My pick: Kei Nishikori – Tough to bet against Ferrer but I’ll go with Nishikori, who’s game is suited to this surface and will have the support of the locals.

Did You Know? The last 3 champions were Tipsarevic, Youzhny and Davydenko.

Thanks for reading and check back next week for more picks and amusement!

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