Scouting Report: Stefanos Tsitsipas and Taylor Fritz lead the grounds in Rotterdam and Dallas; Juan Martin Del Potro returns to Buenos Aires | ATP Tour
A second consecutive week of three tournaments on the ATP Tour will take place in Rotterdam, Buenos Aires and Dallas.
Stefanos Tsitsipas is the top seed in his return to the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament, an ATP 500 event on indoor hard courts in the Netherlands. Casper Ruud leads the field at the Argentine Open (clay), while American Taylor Fritz is the top seed at the Dallas Open (indoor hard), both of which are ATP 250 rated events.
In addition, Juan Martin del Potro will take to the pitch for the first time since 2019 in Buenos Aires in what could be one of the last events of his career.
ATPTour.com provides five things to look out for at every event.
See the prints: rotterdam | Buenos Aires | dallas
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR IN ROTTERDAM:
1) Top ranked Tsitsipas: The Greek has played in Rotterdam every year since 2017 (including a qualifying loss in 2018) and holds a 4-4 record at the hard-court event. He reached the semi-finals a year ago before retiring against eventual champion Andrey Rublev.
After a run to the Australian Open semi-finals, Tsitsipas will be hoping to put his recent elbow injury firmly behind him with another deep run. After the ATP Cup and the first Slam of the year, Rotterdam will be its third event since the operation of the right elbow at the end of 2021.
2) Defending Champion Rublev: Like Tsitsipas, Rublev has also competed in Rotterdam for the past five years. His title run in 2021 saw him beat Marton Fucsovics in the final after beating Tsitsipas and Andy Murray earlier in the draw.
At the start of the season, the Russian got off to a strong start with two dominating wins at the Australian Open before Marin Cilic ended his run in the third round. The second seed in Rotterdam will open against a qualifier, with a potential all-Russian quarter-final against seventh seed Aslan Karatsev two rounds down.
3) Murray added late: Murray accepted a late wild card and will make his seventh appearance in Rotterdam, where he beat Rafael Nadal in the 2009 final. He lost to Rublev in the second round last year and will now face Montpellier champion Alexander Bublik in the first round.
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Murray has already reached the final of the Sydney Tennis Classic in 2022, his first match for the title at tour level since winning Antwerp in 2019. He then showed his signature fighting spirit in a five-set victory over Nikoloz Basilashvili at the Australian Open but couldn’t repeat that performance in a second-round loss to Japan’s Taro Daniel.
4) O Canada: After leading their country to the 2022 ATP Cup title, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov both found themselves within a set of the Australian Open semi-finals in a pair of impressive runs. Auger-Aliassime led Daniil Medvedev (who withdrew from Rotterdam) two sets to nil in their quarter-final match, while Shapovalov forced a fifth set against eventual champion Nadal in the last eight.
Both seeded in Rotterdam, each Canadian drew a first-round qualifier. Placed in opposite halves of the draw, they hope to meet in the final.
5) Former champion Tsonga: The 2017 Rotterdam champion approaches this year’s event with some momentum after picking up his first victory since March 2019 at the Open Sud de France. As he eventually lost to fifth seed Filip Krajinovic, 6-4, 7-6(2), in the second round, the former world No. 5 showed signs that his game was getting back into shape.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR IN BUENOS AIRES
1) Delpo’s farewell? : Argentinian Juan Martin del Potro revealed on Saturday that Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro could be the last two tournaments of his career. Although he didn’t announce his retirement in an emotional press conference, the 34-year-old’s first round match against compatriot Federico Delbonis is now a must.
2) The return of Ruud: Casper Ruud withdrew from the Australian Open after spraining his ankle just before the event. His only previous action this season came at the ATP Cup, where he posted a 2-1 record for Norway, including a win over Cristian Garin. He will face Roberto Carballes Baena or a qualifier in his first game.
3) House favourites: Although top-seeded Diego Schwartzman is one of 10 Argentines in the Cordoba Open draw, there was no home performance in this final. Defending champion Schwartzman once again takes first place among his compatriot as the second seed in Buenos Aires, where seven Argentines (not counting potential qualifiers) will take part in the main draw.
4) Beginning of Sonego: The Italian has recorded at least one win in each of his three 2022 events, including a third-round run as the 25th seed at the Australian Open. In his opening matchup, Sonego will be looking to keep that streak alive against either Sebastian Baez or Holger Rune, both of whom have accepted wild cards in the event.
Bolleli/Gonzalez Top Seeds Duplicate: Simone Bolelli and Maximo Gonzalez will be aiming to claim their fourth crown at the team tour level in Buenos Aires. They will face competition from second seeds Fabio Fognini and Horacio Zeballos, third seeds Ariel Behar and Gonzalo Escobar and fourth seeds Tomislav Brkic and Nikola Cacic.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR IN DALLAS
1) Fritz first: The 24-year-old is getting used to life as an American No.1 but said he wouldn’t be too proud until he could improve his ATP rankings to go along with it. After a run in the fourth round of the Australian Open – his first time beyond the third round at a Slam – Fritz enters Dallas with a career-high No. 20. He will open against Oscar Otte or Jack socks.
2) Cressy is looking for the top 50: Fresh off his run to the fourth round of the Australian Open – where he gave Medvedev all he could handle in four sets – former UCLA star Maxime Cressy enters Dallas in as the sixth seed. Now sitting in the career-high ATP rankings at No. 59, the serve-and-volley specialist could crack the Top 50 with a few more wins. He faces a first-round qualifier, then gets either a wild card Caleb Chakravarthi (a senior from tournament host Southern Methodist University) or another second-round qualifier.
3) Brooksby’s back: After missing out on the Aussie swing, 21-year-old booming Jenson Brooksby makes his 2022 tour-level debut as the fourth seed in Dallas. Last year’s Newport runner-up competed in the Columbus Challenger in late January, losing to Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka in the semi-finals. Brooksby is one of 14 Americans in Dallas’ draw, not including potential qualifiers.
4) Biggest in Texas: We’ll see big men and bigger serves in a fascinating little section of the draw. Kevin Anderson (6’8″) and Sam Querrey (6’6″) are set to play in the first round, with the winner taking on third seed John Isner (6’10”), who receives a bye as only third seed.. Expect a tie-break or two.
5) A look back over 30 years: One of America’s oldest tournaments takes root in the Lone Star State with the move of the New York Open. Now the Dallas Open, the 2022 event marks the return of the ATP Tour to the city for the first time in over 30 years.