Week #18: What to watch for on ATP World Tour as delivered to Tennis Channel by ATP's PR & Marketing Department.
• Busy Week With Estoril, Istanbul, Munich: The ATP World Tour European clay court circuit moves on to Estoril, Istanbul and Munich. Estoril is a third-year tournament at the Clube de Ténis do Estoril although Portuguese tennis on the calendar goes back to the Tour’s inception in 1990. Istanbul is also a third-year tournament on the ATP World Tour. Munich is one of the oldest clay court tournaments, which was first held in 1974. There are five of the Top 20 players in the May 1 Emirates ATP Rankings in action, led by No. 6 Milos Raonic and No. 8 Marin Cilic in Istanbul. No. 16 Gael Monfils, No. 18 Roberto Bautista Agut and No. 20 Alexander Zverev are the top trio in Munich. No. 21 Pablo Carreno Busta is the top seed in Estoril.
• Emirates ATP Race to Milan Leaders: Five of the Top 8 #NextGenATP players in the Emirates ATP Race to Milan standings (as of May 1) are in action with leader Alexander Zverev in Munich and No. 2 Borna Coric in Istanbul. The Top 20 are:
1 Alexander Zverev Munich
2 Borna Coric Istanbul
3 Daniil Medvedev
4 Hyeon Chung Munich
5 Ernesto Escobedo
6 Casper Ruud Munich
7 Frances Tiafoe
8 Karen Khachanov Istanbul
9 Quentin Halys
10 Andrey Rublev
11 Jared Donaldson
12 Taylor Fritz
13 Noah Rubin
14 Alexander Bublik
15 Denis Shapovalov
16 Omar Jasika
17 Blake Mott
18 Alex De Minau
19 Matteo Berrettini
20 Daniel Altmaier
• BMW OPEN BY FWU (Munich): The first of five German tournaments on the ATP World Tour calendar takes place at Munich’s Iphitos Tennis Club, which was first staged in 1974. The International Tennis Championships of Bavaria was first held in 1900. There are three former champions in the field Philipp Kohlschreiber (2007, 2012, 2016), Martin Klizan (2014) and Tommy Haas (2013). Frenchman Gael Monfils is the top seed. The other seeds are No. 2 Roberto Bautista Agut, No. 3 Alexander Zverev, No. 4 Fabio Fognini, No. 5 Kohlschreiber, No. 6 Mischa Zverev, No. 7 Jan-Lennard Struff and No. 8 Thomaz Bellucci.
• 10 THINGS TO KNOW IN MUNICH
1) Monfils Top Seed: Monfils is playing his 1st tournament since ATP Masters 1000 Indian Wells (4R) and withdrew from Miami and Monte-Carlo due to left knee and Achilles tendon injuries. Playing in Munich for 1st time since 2013. He is one match win away from 400 in his career.
2) Kohli Defending Champ: Last year Kohlschreiber won a tournament-best 3rd title (d. Thiem). No. 2 German is playing in Munich for 9th year in a row and 13th time overall (28-9 record). Also won 2007 and 2012 titles. Of his 7 career titles, 5 have come on German soil.
3) Sascha Eyes 1st Home Title: Top German Alexander Zverev is looking for his 1st home country ATP World Tour title. Last year he reached the SFs (l. to Thiem). His first ATP World Tour SF came in 2014 Hamburg. Last June he reached his first ATP World Tour German final in Halle (l. to F. Mayer).
4) Haas is Back: Haas returns to Munich for the 1st time since 2014 when he reached SFs. The former World No. 2 has a 20-10 record in Munich. He won the 2013 title (d. Kohlschreiber) and reached the final in 2000 (l. to Squillari). He made his debut in 1998, the year Alexander Zverev celebrated his 1st birthday.
5) Lone Spaniard in Draw: Bautista Agut, who reached the SFs in his previous visit in 2015, is the only Spaniard in the singles draw. The last Spaniard to win the title was Emilio Sanchez in 1986. Manuel Orantes won titles in 1976 and ’79.
6) Countrymen Meet: There are two all-German 1R match-ups with Dustin Brown vs. Mischa Zverev and Jan-Lennard Struff vs. Daniel Masur.
7) Local Title Hopes: There are 10 Germans in the main draw with 4 seeds (No. 3 A. Zverev, No. 5 Kohlschreiber, No. 6 M. Zverev, No. 7 Struff) and 2 qualifiers (Hanfmann, Stebe). Overall there have been 7 German champions with Jurgen Fassbender winning the inaugural title in 1974. Others are Rolf Gehring (1980), Michael Stich (1994), Haas (2013) and Kohlschreiber (2007, 2012, 2016).
8) #NextGenATP Stars: There are a trio of #NextGenATP stars: Hyeon Chung, who is coming off his 3rd career ATP World Tour QF in Barcelona (l. to Nadal), Casper Ruud, who qualified and reached 2R in Barcelona and Zverev, who advanced to the 3R in Barcelona (l. to Chung).
9) Wild Cards: Local players Maximilian Marterer (21) and Daniel Masur (22) and Norwegian teenager Ruud (18), who is youngest in the draw, are the wild cards. Marterer is looking for his first career ATP World Tour match win (0-6) and Masur is playing in his first ATP World Tour main draw.
10) Doubles Draw: The seeds are No. 1 Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic, No. 2 Treat Huey and Max Mirnyi, No. 3 Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah, and No. 4 Jose Peralta and Horacio Zeballos.
• MILLENNIUM ESTORIL OPEN (Estoril): The third-year clay-court tournament will take place at the Clube de Ténis do Estoril. A Portuguese tournament on the ATP World Tour calendar has been a fixture since the Tour’s inception in 1990. The top seed is Pablo Carreno Busta followed by 2015 champion Richard Gasquet. The other seeds are No. 3 Gilles Muller, No. 4 David Ferrer, No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro, No. 6 Joao Sousa, No. 7 Kyle Edmund and No. 8 Benoit Paire. Unseeded Nicolas Almagro is the defending champion.
• 10 THINGS TO KNOW IN ESTORIL
1) Carreno Busta Top Seed: Carreno Busta is the No. 1 seed in an ATP World Tour tournament for the second time in his career. In February in Sao Paulo he reached SFs. The No. 21st-ranked Spaniard was a finalist last year (l. to Almagro) and SF in 2015. He comes in with an 18-11 match record on the season (12-6 on clay) and he was runner-up in Rio de Janeiro (l. to Thiem).
2) Almagro Reigning Champ: Almagro enters as the reigning champion. The 31-year-old Spaniard is ranked No. 86 with last year’s Estoril points having already dropped. He has a 4-6 record on the season and his best result is QF in Doha.
3) Gasquet Returns: Gasquet, who won the title two years ago (d. Kyrgios), is back in Estoril after missing last year due to injury. Gasquet underwent appendicitis surgery in early March and withdrew from Indian Wells, Miami and Monte-Carlo.
4) Ferrer Eyes Milestone: Ferrer is 4 match wins away from becoming the 13th player in the Open Era with 700 career match wins. The 35-year-old Spaniard comes in with a 3-7 match record and he’s looking to break a 5-match losing streak. His last win came in the 2R at the Australian Open in January.
5) Sousa Eyes 1st Home Title: No. 1 Portuguese Joao Sousa is looking for his 1st home country ATP World Tour title. His best ATP result on home soil came in the old Estoril Open in 2012 when he reached the QFs. Sousa is the country’s top player at No. 36 in the Emirates ATP Rankings with a 13-9 match record this season. His best result was a runner-up in Auckland (l. to Sock).
6) Juan Martin Makes Clay Debut: Last year's ATP Comeback Player of the Year, del Potro, makes his season debut on clay. This will be the No. 1 Argentine’s 5th tournament of the season (6-4 record), his 1st since reaching the 3R at ATP Masters 1000 Miami (l. to Federer). All 4 losses this year have come to Top 6 opponents. His best result is SF in Delray Beach (l. to Raonic).
7) Sugita On Career-High: Yuichi Sugita of Japan comes into Estoril on a career-high No. 73 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. Last week Sugita took advantage of a lucky loser opportunity in Barcelona and defeated former World No. 5 Tommy Robredo in 1R before posting his biggest career wins over No. 23 Richard Gasquet and No. 20 Carreno Busta before losing to No. 9 Dominic Thiem.
8) Local Title Hopes: There are 5 Portuguese players in the main draw led by No. 6 seed Joao Sousa. The country’s No. 2 player Gastao Elias is joined by wild cards Pedro Sousa and Frederico Ferreira Silva and qualifier Joao Domingues. There were 5 Portuguese players in the old Estoril Open in 2012. Silva is looking for his 1st ATP World Tour main draw win (0-2 in Estoril) and Domingues is making his ATP World Tour main draw debut.
9) #NextGenATP Star: The lone #NextGenATP player in the draw is 21-year-old Swedish qualifier Elias Ymer, who is ranked No .193. He is looking for his first ATP World Tour tournament win since July 2016 in Gstaad where he advanced to QFs. Last month he won both of his Davis Cup matches vs. Turkey.
10) Doubles Draw: The seeds are No. 1 Sam Groth and Robert Lindstedt, No. 2 Wesley Koolhof and Matwe Middelkoop, No. 3 Marcus Daniell and Marcelo Demoliner and No. 4 Leander Paes and Andre Sa.
• TEB BNP PARIBAS ISTANBUL OPEN (Istanbul): The third staging of the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open at the spectacular Garanti Koza Arena, features a retractable roof on Centre Court and provides seating for 7,500 spectators. There are two other clay show courts and the clubhouse features a fitness centre, spa, swimming pool and restaurant. Roger Federer won the inaugural title in 2015 and last year Argentine Diego Schwartzman captured his maiden ATP World Tour title. This year’s seeds are: No. 1 Milos Raonic, No. 2 Marin CIlic, No. 3 Schwartzman, No. 4 Paolo Lorenzi, No. 5 Viktor Troicki, No. 6 Bernard Tomic, No. 7 Borna Coric and No. 8 Steve Darcis.
• 10 THINGS TO KNOW IN ISTANBUL
1) Milos Top Seed: Raonic is playing his 1st tournament since ATP Masters 1000 Miami (3R) where he withdrew with a hamstring injury. He also withdrew from Indian Wells and Delray Beach final with same injury. He is 11-2 on the season with a SF in Brisbane and QF at the Australian Open.
2) Marin Eyes Jump Start: Cilic is looking to jump start his season. The World No. 8 enters with a 7-8 match record and in his last tournament at ATP Masters 1000 Monte-Carlo he advanced to the QFs (l. to Ramos-Vinolas). His best result came at Acapulco where he reached the SFs (l. to Nadal). He is two match wins away from 400 in his career.
3) Schwartzman Defending Champion: A year ago Schwartzman came into Istanbul ranked No. 87 and he went on to capture his first ATP World Tour title, winning his last three matches from a set down, including a 67 76 60 final victory over Dimitrov. He saved 1 MP in his QF win. This season the 24-year-old Argentine reached his first ATP Masters 1000 QF in Monte-Carlo (l. to eventual champion Nadal). Afterwards he reached a career-high No. 34 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. He is No. 46 this week.
4) Bedene Moving Up: British No. 4 Aljaz Bedene finished the month of April with a 16-1 match record. After winning back-to-back ATP Challenger Tour titles, last week in Budapest the 27-year-old Briton won two qualifying matches and four main draw matches before falling to top seed Lucas Pouille in the final. He began the month of April ranked No. 93 and he comes into Istanbul No. 58 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. His career-high ranking is No. 45 on Nov. 16, 2015.
5) Serb On The Rise: Laslo Djere, a 21-year-old Serb, comes in ranked a career-high No. 153 after reaching his first ATP World Tour semi-final last week in Budapest (l. to Bedene) as a qualifier. It was Djere’s only fifth career ATP World Tour-level tournament. He earned a special exempt into Istanbul.
6) Darcis Back in Top 50: No. 2 Belgian Steve Darcis, who one year ago at this time was ranked No. 177, has climbed back into the Top 50 this season with a successful start. Darcis is 11-6 and has reached QFs in Sofia and Delray Beach, advanced to the 3R at the Australian Open. He also has helped Belgium reach the Davis Cup SFs by posting a 3-0 record in wins over Great Britain and Italy.
7) Baghdatis Returns: Former World No. 8 Marcos Baghdatis is playing his first Tour-level tournament since the Australian Open in January. The 31-year-old Cypriot withdrew from five tournaments due to a right foot injury. His all-time record 36-match win streak in Davis Cup ended April 7 with Group II loss to No. 799 Echargui of Tunisia. Two weeks ago he played in the Taipei Challenger and lost in 1R.
8) #NextGenATP Stars: There are three #NextGenATP stars in the draw: Croat Borna Coric, who recently captured his first ATP World Tour title in Marrakech, Russian Karen Khachanov, who enters a career-high No. 42 after reaching the QFs in Barcelona (d. Goffin, l. to Zeballos) and 18-year-old Greek qualifier Stefanos Tsitsipas. He finished as the No. 2 junior in the world last year.
9) Wild Cards: Along with CIlic, the other wild cards are Hungary’s No. 1 player, Marton Fucsovics, who is ranked No. 149, and Turkey’s No. 2 player, 21-year-old Cem Ilkel, who is ranked No. 323.
10) Doubles Draw: The seeds are No. 1 Nicholas Monroe and Artem Sitak, No. 2 Santiago Gonzalez and Dominic Inglot, No. 3 Jonathan Erlich and Scott Lipsky, and No. 4 Guillermo Duran and Andres Molteni.
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By Greg Sharko, Director, Media Information, PR & Marketing, ATP World Tour