ATP Picks: Zagreb, Vina Del Mar, Montpellier


The Croats do well here and I don’t expect that to change. The draw is solid but no firework first rounders. Veterans Youzhny and Melzer need to justify their seeding I think, with several youngbloods hungry enough to take one or two of them down.

Let’s break it down:

ATP Level: 250

Surface: Indoor Hard

Defending Champion: Mikhail Youzhny – Not the force he once was but still one of the fittest and competitive.

Nasty Floater: Martin Klizan – Tall, dark and dangerous.

Veteran Watch:
  Ivo Karlovic – Slumping, but indoors with that serve!

Up and Coming: Aljaz Bedene – Quickly making a name for himself.

Slumping: Jurgen ‘Tuna’ Melzer – Had a horror show Davis Cup weekend.

On Fire: Andreas Seppi – Career high ranking of 18 and on a roll.

My pick: Marin Cilic – Hometown hero and former champ looks a good bet.

Did You Know? Croatian winners in Zagreb include: Ivan Ljubicic, Marin Cilic and Ivan Dodig

Watch: Zagreb Uncovered

Vina Del Mar

An unremarkable tournament and draw made much more interesting for the return of Rafael Nadal. A cupcake draw for him so long as his knees hold up. Juan Monaco would relish playing him in the final if Nadal is sub-par.

Let’s break it down:

ATP Level: 250

Surface: Outdoor Clay

Defending Champion: Juan ‘Pico’ Monaco – Should do well but will run into The Bull in the final.

Nasty Floater: Albert Montanes – Getting on in years but one heck of a clay courter.

Veteran Watch:
 Tommy Robredo – Loads of pedigree and back from injury.

Up and Coming: Guido Pella – Won the Challenger Finals last year.

Slumping: Pablo ‘Honey’ Andujar – Been absent from the business end of a draw for a while.

On Fire: Jeremy Chardy – Can he carry his Aussie Open heat going?

My pick: Rafa Nadal – Do you need to ask?


This tournament is the most interesting of the 3 this week, with French talent bursting from the seams. Tipsarevic is the top dog sans Berdych, and will be tough to beat.

Let’s break it down:

ATP Level: 250

Surface: Indoor Hard

Defending Champion: Tomas Berdych – Played an epic Davis Cup doubles that a thousand gallons of 5-hour energy drink could get him to play here.

Nasty Floater: Michael Llodra – Loves playing indoor and will be a handful for anyone.

Veteran Watch:
 Jarkko Nieminen – Could face Berdych and tough to beat.

Up and Coming: Tatsuma ‘Satsuma’ Ito – Japanese player is coming off a good Davis Cup weekend.

Slumping: Sergiy Stakhovsky – Not the player he has shown us a few years ago.

On Fire: Richard ‘Head’ Gasquet – Never looks in trouble against lower ranked players.

My pick: Richard ‘Head’ Gasquet – Have to pick the Frenchman here.

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