ATP Picks: Munich and Oeiras

BMW Open

The BMW Open is the first of five German tournaments on the 2011 ATP World Tour calendar, played in the lovely city of Munich.

German tennis claims 7 top 100 players with veteran Haas leading the pack, which is great for him but an indication that there is no-one else breaking through. Kolhlschreiber is defending champion and a great player but almost 30 now including Florian Mayer. Who’s the next big thing? Tobias Kamke or Daniel Brands, who incidentally play each other first round?

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Let’s break it down:

ATP Level: 250

Surface: Outdoor Clay

Defending Champion: Philipp Kohlschreiber – PK played great in Barcelona, gets a bye here and a decent draw. He loves playing in Munich and will be tough to beat.

Nasty Floater: Dimitry Tursunov – The up-and-down Russian toppled Ferrer last week, which is something few outside the top 4 do.

Veteran Watch: Radek ‘the Worm’ Stepanek – Gets Mikhail Youzhny first round and could be a tough year coming back from injury at 33.

Youngbloods: Tobias Kamke – Plays fellow German Brands in round 1 and has a 6-8 win-loss record  this year.

Slumping: Janko Tipsarevic – Comes in with a 9-7 record this year and needs a title to remain top 10.

On Fire: Philipp Kohlschreiber – Chases a 3rd title here and could meet Tommy Haas for a mouth-watering semi-final.

My pick: Tommy ‘The Hitman’ Haas – Not a clay specialist but he comes in fresh and pumped on the back of a 14-7 win record this year.

Did You Know? Germans have won the title five times since then, most recently Philipp Kohlschreiber in 2007 and 2012.

Portugal Open

The Portugal Open is still played in Estoril but renamed Oeiras for some reason. No Portuguese players in the top 100 but Joao Sousa is pushing.

It’s surprising based on Portugal’s proximity to Spain and the number of clay courts that there are not more good Portuguese players but maybe they’re all out playing golf? David Ferrer decides to play, much to the chagrin of the rest of the field.

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ATP Level: 250

Surface: Outdoor Clay

Defending Champion: Juan Martin del Potro – The 2-time defending champ skips this year. Bigger fish to fry.

Nasty Floater: Igor Sijsling – The Dutchman is having his best year on tour so far.

Veteran Watch: Alejandro Falla  – The Colombian leftie is dangerous but without a career title. Maybe this week?

Youngbloods: Albert Ramos – Took only 3 games off Rafa in Barcelona, but played well to get there.

Slumping: Julien Benneteau – The Frenchman who is 0-8 in finals has been quiet of late and needs some confidence back.

On Fire: Tommy Robredo – Has a title this year and can knock of top 10 players on clay. Class is permanent.

My pick: David ‘The Wall’ Ferrer – He cleans up these kinds of clay events.

Did You Know? Four former World No. 1s have won the Portugal Open: Thomas Muster, Carlos Moya, Juan Carlos Ferrero and Roger Federer.

Thanks for reading and check back next week for more tips, news and musings!

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