Rotterdam Open 2020: Men's singles draw analysis
The draw for the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament, the first ATP 500 event of 2020, was released yesterday. There are some promising matches right from the initial rounds with players like Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev, Fabio Fognini making their way back after their disappointing exits from the Australian Open.
Last year's US Open runner-up Medvedev is the top seed this year and he is followed by Tsitsipas, Gael Monfils, David Goffin, Fabio Fognini, Roberto Bautista Agut, Andrey Rublev, Denis Shapovalov. These eight make up the seeds at the tournament, showing just how stacked the draw is.
Let's take a closer look at the draw.
Defending champion Monfils will play his first-round match against Joao Sousa, and could face countryman Gilles Simon in the second round. Another interesting first-round tie involves Fabio Fognini and Karen Khachanov.
Khachanov, who gave a tough fight before bowing down to Nick Kyrgios in the third round of the Australian Open, will look to improve his ranking with a good showing here.
It will be interesting to see how Fognini approaches this match. This will be their third meeting on tour and their head-to-head record stands at 1-1.
Andrey Rublev, who made the fourth round at the Australian Open, will face Nikoloz Basilashvili in the first round. In all likelihood, he will face countryman Medvedev in the quarter-finals.
The bottom half of the draw has players like Tsitsipas, Shapovalov, Grigor Dimitrov, Denis Shapovalov, Felix Auger-Aliassime and David Goffin. The young Italian talent Jannik Sinner has been given a wild-card entry and will face Radu Albot in the first round.
In other interesting first-round matches, Dimitrov will take on Shapovalov. Both these players failed to make a mark in the on-going Open Sud de France tournament, and they would look to make amends by putting up a better showing in Rotterdam.
Tsitsipas will face a tough opponent in the form of Hubert Hurkacz in the first round. The two played each other three times last year out of which Tsitsipas won two, the most recent one being the second-round match at the Shanghai Masters. But Hurkacz looks like an improved player this year and it will be interesting to see how the Greek approaches the match.
Felix Auger-Aliassime, who lost to Pierre Hugues Herbert in the second round at Montpellier, will face Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff in the first round. The Canadian has been playing aggressive tennis but without much success, and he would be eager to put up better results going forward.
First round match-ups to watch out for
- Karen Khachanov vs Fabio Fognini
- Andrey Rublev vs Nikoloz Basilasvili
- Gael Monfils vs Joao Sousa
- Denis Shapovalov vs Grigor Dimitrov
- Felix Auger-Aliassime vs Jan Lennard Struff
- Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Hubert Hurkacz
- Daniil Medvedev vs Andrey Rublev
- Gael Monfils vs Fabio Fognini
- Roberto Bautista Agut vs David Goffin
- Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Denis Shapovalov
The main draw matches will start from 10th February.
Published 08 Feb 2020, 18:37 IST