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 OpenThailand Open

Sadly no Paradorn Srichaphan on the horizon for the Thai nation but wildcards do go to one Thai player: Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul (thank you copy and paste). Danai Udomchoke, ranked 376 is the leading Thai player right now and did have success in doubles last year winning the title with Yen-Hsun Lu. He also has been as high as 77 in 2007.
Some big hitters are here this week and serving giants Ivo Karlovic and Milos Raonic, while Berdych and Gasquet begin to try to wrap up a spot at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in November.
Thailand Open stadium compressed

Let’s break it down:

ATP Level: 250

Surface: Indoor Hard

Defending Champion: Richard Gasquet – 2 titles this year and a 39-15 record. He’s having a great year.

Nasty Floater: Denis ‘The Menace’ Istomin – Played well last week in Russia and has a big game to trouble most.

Veteran Watch:
 Jarkko Nieminen – The Flying Finn could face Simon in the quarters but is in a tight quarter of the draw. He has an impressive 18-7 record here.

Up and Coming: Evgeny Donskoy – Stumbled in Russia last week but could tackle Berdych in the quarters.

Slumping: Mikhail ‘The Colonel’ Youzhny – Got dumped out in the 2nd round in St. Petersburg last week but has been in form.

On Fire: Gilles Simon – Has a 9-2 record here and won in Metz last week defeating Tsonga. 

My pick: Tomas Berdych – Still without a title this year despite bringing a 44-17 record into the event. Time to change that.

Did You Know? 

Malaysian OpenMalaysian Open

This stop brings tennis to an emerging hotspot in this glittering Asian city. No real players from the host country so the wildcards get dispersed to Ryan Harrison, Hyeon Chung and Pablo Carreno Busta. Pablo Cuevas returns with a protected ranking from injury and Joao Sousa is a special entry.

This one looks to honor the seedings with a Ferrer-Wawrinka final on the cards.

Malaysian-Open-ATP-World-Tour-250

Let’s break it down:

ATP Level: 250

Surface: Indoor Hard

Defending Champion:
Juan Monaco – Pulls out of the event.

Nasty Floater:
Marcos Baghdatis – The Bagman needs to pull his ranking up to get a seeding back. Too good to be floating around.

Veteran Watch:
Nikolay Davydenko – The Machine won here in 2009 and is 21-21 on the year. Could face Ferrer in the quarters.

Up and Coming: Michal Przyiezny – The Pole had a good week in St. Petersburg making the semi-finals and faces Julien Benneteau 1st round.

Slumping: Nicolas Almagro – Aims to break a four-match losing streak on his Kuala Lumpur debut.

On Fire: Stan Wawrinka – Has a 1-3 record in ATP World Tour Finals this year, will make his tournament debut this week.

My pick: Stan Wawrinka – Is having a career year and should be able to pick up his 2nd title this year.

Did You Know? The Malaysian Prime Minister’s name is Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak. What a mouthful!

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

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