Italian Marco Cecchinato is back to defend his Hungarian Open title.
Italian Marco Cecchinato is back to defend his Hungarian Open title.|

Tennis: The Hungarian Open has a slim draw, but Abrams likes two matches in the Round of 32 -- plus picks the favorites to win

Matches start at 5 am EDT. Abrams’ doubles pick starts at 8 am, the singles pick at 10:30 am.

Neal Abrams

Neal Abrams

Hungarian Open
Budapest, Hungary
Monday, April 22, 2019

As most of the top players left Monte Carlo for the Masters 500 event in Spain, some of the others decided to go to Budapest for the third rendition of the Hungarian Open. This tournament replaced, in 2017, the Masters 250 Event played in Bucharest, Romania, and it’s first two winners were Lucas Pouille and Marco Cecchinato. This year, the draw features Marin Cilic, Borna Coric, Cecchinato, and Nikoloz Basilashvilli. With a very thin 32-man draw, the only other contenders that I see are Radu Albot, and Monte Carlo finalist Dusan Lajovic (pronounced Loy-o-vich).

As a Masters 250 ATP Tour event, the winner takes home over 90,000 Euros while the runner-up collects 48,870 Euros. In a very thin doubles draw of 16 teams, the winning team splits around 30,000 Euros, which is still righteous bucks . . . or Euros.

Round of 32 picks

Radu Albot over Sergiy Stakhovsky
I’m still impressed by Albot’s title in Delray Beach back in February, and based on that run, his ranking of 44 (vs. Stakhovsky’s ranking of 115), and his win the only time these guys have played (in the qualies of the 2017 Miami 1000), I’m going with Albot.

Ken and Neal Skupski over Mate Valkusz and Nenad Zimonjic
Ya just gotta love Nenad Zimonjic. He’s 42 years old, he recently had both hips replaced, and he’s playing ATP Tour events! Based on his passed record (he was the No. 1 doubles player in the world . . . 11 years ago) and nostalgia, I’d love to see him and Mate Valkusz, a 20-year-old favorite son from Budapest, win. But that’s not going to happen. The Skupski brothers are a real team, in their prime, and play together very well. They should take this one, unless the linesmen in Budapest are like the linesmen were in Bucharest. Then all bets are off.

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