ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament Predictions: 4 players likely to win the Rotterdam Open
The 2019 Rotterdam Open has already proved to be a graveyard for many seeded players even as the tournament has just begun.
The number two seed Karen Khachanov lost to the unheralded Tallon Griekspoor in the first round itself. The third seed and the surprise Australian Open semi-finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas too lost his first round match to Damir Dzumhur. The fourth seed Milos Raonic has also been felled by a resurgent Stan Wawrinka in the Round of 16.
Apart from these shocking early round losses of the top seeds, there have also been high profile withdrawals just before the tournament in the form of the sixth seed Lucas Pouille and the seventh seed Roberto Bautista Agut.
However, despite the disappointment of losing so many terrific players early into the tournament, there is still a lot to look forward to in the 2019 Rotterdam Open.
So, here is a list of four players who are likely to win the tournament this year:
#1 Kei Nishikori
The Japanese number one came into this tournament on the back of a quarter-final showing at the year’s first Grand Slam. Though the manner of his exit from the Australian Open through injury was a bit of concern for his fans, he has helped assuage some of those fears through his first round performance at Rotterdam.
Though he was not clearly at his best against Pierre-Hugues Herbert, and was stretched to three sets, he showed little signs of injury or fatigue, which is a great sign going into the latter stages of the tournament.
His Round of 16 opponent is the eccentric Ernests Gulbis, who is not exactly known for his consistency. He may produce flashes of brilliance, but Nishikori should not face much difficulty in progressing further.
With many seeded players gone so early into the tournament, Kei must fancy his chances. At the moment, he is certainly the overwhelming favourite to lift the trophy.
#2 Stan Wawrinka
It has been a difficult year and a half for the injury-plagued Swiss star. But unlike Andy Murray, it seems Stan Wawrinka could still get back to the elite level he is capable of. His performances in the first two rounds at Rotterdam have been quite impressive.
In the first round against Benoit Paire, he showcased his all-round game. He had an impressive 72% first serve win percentage and a not-so-shabby 52% second serve win percentage.
He had an even better outing against Milos Raonic in the second round, where he handed the Canadian a straight-set thrashing. Though he could keep only 52% of his first serves in, he managed to win a whopping 91% of his first serves. His second serve win percentage was at an impressive 67% as well.
He is going to meet another Canadian, the Next Gen star Denis Shapovalov in the quarter-final. But on current form, it is difficult to bet against him not just getting past the next round, but going all the way. He is certainly one of the favourites from here on.
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