After two weeks of ATP250 tournaments, we are nearing the end of the season, with the last ATP500 tournaments in Basel and Valencia, then the last Masters 1000 in Paris (week of 7 November) and, finally, the ATP World Tour Finals in London (week of 20 November) and the Davis Cup final (2-4 December).
If, tomorrow, Janko Tipsarevic will be in search of his second title in as many weeks in St Petersburg, vs Marin Cilic, Juan Martín del Potro, for his part, will try to take the Vienna title home, facing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, to earn himself a third title in three finals appearances (Delray Beach and Estoril). The four of them will then head straight to either Basel (Tipsarevic) or Valencia (Cilic, del Potro, Tsonga), where the action starts tomorrow (Valencia, one first-round match).
Tonight will be about Valencia, tomorrow about Basel.
The draw of the Spanish tournament is quite interesting, even though there is only one top 5 player participating, namely defending champion and world no 5 David Ferrer. It will not, however, be easy for the Spaniard, as he will face a good test in the person of his countryman Fernando Verdasco in the first round, then most likely John Isner and then, possibly, Gilles Simon or Nikolay Davydenko. In the semis, he could meet Nicolás Almagro (although I admit I’d rather, by far, see Pico Mónaco win their first-round encounter), Feliciano López or his very good friend Juan Carlos Ferrero. Far from a piece of cake of a draw for the defending champion!
The other side is just as loaded and last year’s runner-up, Marcel Granollers, will have to work hard if he wishes to accomplish the same as he did in 2010, especially as he is facing Alexandr Dolgopolov in the first round. However, Dolgo is not playing all too well lately and a win by the Spaniard is still very possible in that match if the whimsical Ukrainian isn’t back to better ways after his recent Russian debacle. The winner of this match will face the winner of the match opposing Marin Cilic to Milos Raonic, most likely the big-serving Canadian. Gaël Monfils is also in this quarter and he has a draw that should permit him to reach the quarters, if not the semis.
The last quarter is, by far, the most interesting, mainly because of a possible rematch of tomorrow’s Vienna final between del Potro and Tsonga. If this matchup happens, it will be a quarter-final encounter and it could be somewhat determining for the YTD Race in case of a win by the Argentine. But for this to happen, Delpo first has to defeat Dmitry Tursunov, then could meet the one he defeated today in the Vienna semi-finals, Kevin Anderson, who really put up quite a fight! As for Tsonga, he will first face young Javier Marti (who I strongly recommend you watch – such talent!), then the winner of the Ernests Gulbis – Sam Querrey match.
Main draw action starts tomorrow, as one match is scheduled right after the final round of the qualifications (in which, among others, Canadian Vasek Pospisil will face Pere Riba), the one opposing Pablo Andújar and Juan Ignacio Chela.
Really a tournament to watch!