Several top stars of the men's game have arrived in Florida for the season opener at the 2021 Delray Beach ATP 250 Open, the draw for which was released on Monday evening.
Leading a packed field are top seed Cristian Garin and former champions Ivo Karlovic, Frances Tiafoe and Sam Querrey. Fellow Americans John Isner and Tommy Paul, Poland's Hubert Hurkacz, France's Adrian Mannarino and Spain's Pablo Andujar round up the top eight seeds.
With main draw action set to get underway from Thursday, here is look at the prospects of some of the biggest names in the fray.
Top half: Seeds take on seasoned hardcourt performers
Expected semifinal: Cristian Garin vs Hubert Hurkacz
Analysis: The top seeds in the upper half will have some tough competition from such big-serving players and former winners such as Ivo Karlovic (2015 champion) and Sam Querrey (2016 champion).
Cristian Garin has a relatively straightforward path to the last eight, where he might face Querrey. The American, however, would have to first maneuver past countrymen Mackenzie McDonald and Ryan Harrison. And even if he does manage that, Querrey will need to produce a special performance to get past the fast-rising Garin.
Things look somewhat similar for fourth seed Hubert Hurkacz, who shouldn't have too much trouble reaching the last eight either. Hurkacz's first real test could be facing the winner of the battle between Karlovic and eighth seed Pablo Andujar; the two men are all set to clash an intriguing first round matchup.
Predicted semifinal: Cristian Garin vs Hubert Hurkacz
Bottom half: John Isner and Adrian Mannarino take on a crop of talented youngsters
Expected semifinal: Adrian Mannarino vs John Isner
Analysis: Second seed John Isner will try to find his footing against an easy couple of opponents first up. He will, however, need to be wary of a potential quarterfinal against the dynamic youngster Tommy Paul.
The fifth seeded Paul has shown a knack for staging upsets on the big stage. That said, he should expect tough resistance from the likes of Sebastian Korda and Kwon Soon-woo early in the tournament.
The other section of the bottom half will witness a battle for superiority between third seed Adrian Mannarino and local favorite Frances Tiafoe. Both men have been handed straightforward draws, and are likely to slug it out for the all-important last semifinal spot.
Predicted semifinal: Frances Tiafoe vs Tommy PaulPublished 05 Jan 2021, 14:36 IST