ATP Picks: Vienna, Stockholm, Moscow

It’s hard to keep track this week, as we visit 3 beautiful European cities with apologies for a late edition of ATP picks this week.

Erste Bank OpenErste Bank Open

The Austrian capital plays host to the Erste Open. Austrian tennis shambles along with Jurgen Melzer at 32 still the standard bearer, although he skips out on his homeland to play in Sweden. Traitor!

Austrian wildcards go to the exciting young prospect Dominic Thiem, Martin Fischer and Gerald Melzer, Jurgen’s baby brother.


Let’s break it down:

ATP Level: 250

Surface: Indoor Hard

Defending Champion:
Juan Del Potro – Not here this week after a lot of big match play.

Nasty Floater: Robin ‘Schlobber’ Haase – Likes to play indoors and has a decent draw if he can catch a few breaks.

Veteran Watch:
 Radek Stepaenk – The Worm is back from injury and always does well indoors. 

Up and Coming: Dominic Thiem – The 20 year old could be the future of Austrian tennis.

Slumping: Florian Mayer – It’s not fun playing Mayer, except for perhaps right now.

On Fire: Jo Tsonga – More like burning coals than white hot but indoors he should be favorite here.

My pick: Jo Tsonga – See above

Did You Know? Former World No. 1 Thomas Muster played his final ATP World Tour tournament at the age of 44. The Austrian was beaten in the first round by 18-year-old countryman Dominic Thiem.

If Stockholm OpenIf Stockholm Open

Holy smokes! Joachim Johansson is back! Pim Pim got a wildcard into qualifying and has already won a match. This guy could have been the next big thing in Swedish tennis but injury cruelly denied him. Let’s hope he does well before he retires again.

Other Swedish wildcards go to Markus Eriksson ranked 406.


Let’s break it down:

ATP Level: 250

Surface: Indoor Hard

Defending Champion:
David Ferrer – The Wall should have no problems until the semi-finals when he could take on Ernest ‘Lights Out’ Gulbis.

Nasty Floater:
Grigor ‘Baby Fed’ Dimitrov – A nice draw for the young Bulgar and good opportunity for this first title.

Veteran Watch:
Jarkko Nieminen – The three-time runner-up has a 23-13 record in Stockholm.

Up and Coming: Kenny De Shepper – This Frenchman has the chops to cause a few upsets this week.

Slumping: Bernie ‘Atomic’ Tomic – Really not sure what to make of his year, very up and down. Should do well indoors but it’s not happening.

On Fire: Ernests Gulbis – Having a great year relative to the rest of his career. Seems motivated with 2 titles this year.

My pick: Ernests Gulbis – Big Ernie makes it 3 titles this year.

Did You Know? The If Stockholm Open was first held in 1969 and has been held at the Kungliga Tennishallen except for 1989-1994, when it was held at the Globe Arena.

Kremlin CupKremlin Cup by Bank of Moscow

Played indoors in Russia’s bustling and chilly capital of Moscow, Russian tennis is in transition. Youzhny and Davydenko are in the twilight of their careers but there are some young players making some noise including Andrey Kutnetzov, Evgeny Donskoy and Karen Khachanov.

Richard Gasquet makes his Moscow debut as he looks to qualify for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals for the second time.


Let’s break it down:

ATP Level: 250

Surface: Indoor Hard

Defending Champion:
 Andreas Seppi – Has a good draw and should go deep and my pick to make the final.

Nasty Floater: Andrey Golubev – Not been in the greatest nick the last few years but has won 2 matches here already.

Veteran Watch:
 Ivo Karlovic – At 34 still has the tools to trouble anyone with 1 title already this year. 

Up and Coming: Karen Khachanov – Only 17 and ranked 808, but at 6’6″ in height has already dumped out Albert Ramos and Janko Tipsarevic.

Slumping: Marcos ‘The Bagman’ Baghdatis – Already dumped out by up and coming Russian Evgeny Donskoy.

On Fire: Richard Gasquet – Seeking a place in London. Will be keeping the embers hot this week.

My pick: Richard Gasquet – See above

Did You Know? In 2011, Janko Tipsarevic defeated Viktor Troicki in the first-ever all-Serbian final on the ATP World Tour.

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

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