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Rotterdam Open 2022: Men's singles draw analysis, preview & prediction

Stefanos Tsitsipas at the 2022 Australian Open.
Stefanos Tsitsipas at the 2022 Australian Open.
Rohit

The 2022 Rotterdam Open, to be held from February 7-13, is one of three events happening on the ATP tour this week.

The ATP 500 event lost a bit of star power as Daniil Medvedev, Jannik Sinner and Gael Monfils, among others, withdrew due to various reasons. Nevertheless, the tournament still features several talented players, including three of the current top 10 players.

World No. 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas is the top seed at the Rotterdam Open, while defending champion Andrey Rublev is behind him in second. 2022 Australian Open quarterfinalist Felix Auger-Aliassime and 2021 Wimbledon semifinalist Hubert Hurkacz round out the top four seeds.

On that note, here's an in-depth look at how the draw might unfold:


Top half: Stefanos Tsitsipas is the man to beat

Hubert Hurkacz at the 2022 ATP Cup.
Hubert Hurkacz at the 2022 ATP Cup.

Seeded players: (1) Stefanos Tsitsipas, (4) Hubert Hurkacz, (5) Denis Shapovalov and (8) Nikoloz Basilashvili.

Expected semifinal: Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Hubert Hurkacz.

Dark horse: Alex de Minaur.

Analysis: Stefanos Tsitsipas started the year with concerns around his health, as his ATP Cup campaign didn't go as expected. He bounced back strongly at the Australian Open, reaching the semifinals for the third time. At the 2022 Rotterdam Open, the Greek is set to play Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the first round.

It should be a straightforward win for Tsitsipas, as Fokina's record for the year is 1-3, with his lone victory coming in the first round of the Australian Open. The top seed will face off against either Lloyd Harris or Ilya Ivashka in the second round.

Both players haven't been at their best this year, as neither have won a match yet. The World No. 4 should win his second-round tie regardless of the opponent to reach the quarterfinals.

Nikoloz Basilashvili is the other seeded player in this section. He's currently on a five-match losing streak in 2022, which extends to seven if his form in late 2021 is taken into account as well. He's up against Mackenzie McDonald in the first round and the American will fancy his chances of winning this match.

The winner will square off against either Alex de Minaur or David Goffin in the second round. The Belgian looks a shadow of his former self these days, making de Minaur, who has played quite well this year, the favorite to win. The Australian will also be favored against McDonald to make the last eight, where he's likely to face Tsitsipas.

Denis Shapovalov's best result at the Rotterdam Open is a quarterfinal appearance in 2019.
Denis Shapovalov's best result at the Rotterdam Open is a quarterfinal appearance in 2019.

Meanwhile, Denis Shapovalov has made a strong start to the year. He was instrumental in leading Canada to their maiden ATP Cup title. Shapovalov followed that up by reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, where he lost a close five-set match against Rafael Nadal.

Seeded fifth at the Rotterdam Open, he has an easy path to the last eight. Shapovalov will kick off his campaign against a qualifier and faces either Botic van de Zandschulp or another qualifier in the second round. An early loss here will certainly be an upset.

Fourth seed Hubert Hurkacz is also in this section of the draw. He helped Poland reach the semifinals of the ATP Cup to start the year. However, Hurkacz made a quick exit from the Australian Open, losing in the second round. Up against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first round, he'll look to reset after his early loss in Melbourne.

The Frenchman hasn't defeated a top 20 player since 2019, so Hurkacz should be able to win this match. The winner will face either Lorenzo Musetti or Mikael Ymer for a spot in the quarterfinals, where Shapovalov is most likely to be their opponent.

Semifinal prediction: Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Denis Shapovalov.

ATP500 Rotterdam singles draw https://t.co/eQAKxvtVgf

Bottom half: Andrey Rublev seeks back-to-back titles at the Rotterdam Open

Andrey Rublev is the defending champion at the Rotterdam Open.
Andrey Rublev is the defending champion at the Rotterdam Open.

Seeded players: (2) Andrey Rublev, (3) Felix Auger-Aliassime, (6) Cameron Norrie and (7) Aslan Karatsev.

Expected semifinal: Andrey Rublev vs Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Dark horse: Karen Khachanov.

Analysis: Andrey Rublev's 2022 season got off to a disappointing start. He tested positive for COVID-19 and couldn't participate in any tournaments prior to the Australian Open. He lost in the third round to Marin Cilic in Melbourne. Seeded second at the Rotterdam Open, the Russian returns to the tournament where he won his last title.

Rublev, the defending champion, will kick off his title defense against a qualifier, followed by a second-round contest against either Arthur Rinderknech or Kwon Soon-woo. He'll be the heavy favorite to win both of his matches to reach the quarterfinals.

Compatriot Aslan Karatsev is the other seeded player in his section. He won the title at the Sydney Tennis Classic to commence his season. Karatsev was expected to make a deep run at the Australian Open, but lost in the third round. He then competed at the Maharashtra Open, where he fell in the opening hurdle.

The Russian will look to get his season back on track after a mediocre few weeks. He'll begin his Rotterdam Open campaign against wildcard Tallon Griekspoor. The Dutch player won a record eight titles on the Challenger tour last year and will hope to replicate the success on the ATP tour as well. Karatsev is the favorite on paper, but his current form makes the match a toss-up.

The winner will face either Filip Krajinovic or Marton Fucsovics in the second round. The Serbian is currently competing at the Open Sud de France, where he has reached the semifinals. Krajinovic is playing quite well at the moment and should make it past Fucsovics and either Karatsev or Griekspoor too, to make the quarterfinals.

Only 4 days to go and this is the cast! 2020 finalist @felixtennis will take part in the 49th ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament 🎾 https://t.co/5UEtTC5Nrv
Felix Auger-Aliassime is a former finalist at the Rotterdam Open.
Felix Auger-Aliassime is a former finalist at the Rotterdam Open.

Third seed Felix Auger-Aliassime headlines the other section of the bottom half of the Rotterdam Open draw. He played an important part in Canada's ATP Cup victory and followed it up by reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open.

The World No. 9 faces a qualifier in the first round. Auger-Aliassime's second-round opponent could be either Andy Murray or Alexander Bublik. Murray reached the final of the Sydney Tennis Classic and was expected to do well at the Australian Open, but lost in the second round.

Meanwhile, after a couple of early losses, Bublik has turned his season around by reaching the semifinals in Montpellier at the time of writing. Auger-Aliassime could be tested by either player, but the Canadian should make it to the quarterfinals given his form.

Sixth seed Cameron Norrie is also in this section of the draw and is still seeking his first win of 2022. His opponent in the first round of the Rotterdam Open will be Ugo Humbert. Humbert started the year with a stunning upset win against World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev in the ATP Cup, but hasn't won a match since then.

The winner will face either Karen Khachanov or Alexei Popyrin in the second round. The Russian started the year by reaching the final and the quarterfinals of the two tournaments in Adelaide. Khachanov lost to Nadal in the third round of the Australian Open. Popyrin, on the other hand, is 1-4 for the year so far.

Khachanov should reach the quarterfinals with relative ease considering how his opponents are going through a rough patch. He's likely to face Auger-Aliassime in an exciting last eight showdown.

Semifinal prediction: Andrey Rublev vs Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Prediction for the final: Stefanos Tsitsipas def. Felix Auger-Aliassime.


Also Check Out: Rotterdam Open 2022 Schedule


Edited by Anantaajith Ra

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