Matches begin at 6 am EDT
Turkish Airlines Open Antalya
Damir Dzumhur over Altug Celikbilek
Dzumhur took out Britain’s Matt Ebden Monday proving that he knows a thing or two about grass courts. Celikbilek, the reed-thin home town wild card, won over Ernests Gulbis, so he can play too. But Dzumur is a veteran pro and has too much experience for the young Turk.
Adrian Mannarino over Roberto Carballes Baena
Mannarino, the 30-year old Frenchman, a week ago won the Libema Open in The Netherlands by beating Thiemo de Bakker, Fernando Verdasco, David Goffin, Borna Coric and Jordan Thompson to take home the title, the 250 ranking points and the top prize of 109,590 Euros. He clearly is a threat on grass. Carballes Baena is a traditional Spanish dirtballer who doesn’t win much on the green stuff. I like Mannarino big.
Jordan Thompson over Brad Klahn
Again, this match is mostly about what they’re playing on, but also about Klahn being 0-6 this year and Thompson being 19-12. I’ve gotta go with Thompson here, because to assume that Klahn would win his first match of the year here and now, on grass, no less, would be foolish.
Prajnesh Gunneswaran over Lorenzo Sonego
Gunneswaran ran all over Janko Tipsarevic Monday in a match that I thought would be close but would go the other way. Gunneswaran is serving well, but more importantly, is volleying and moving very well, and I think with that combination he’ll upset Sonego, another clay courter from Italy.
Leander Paes/Benoit Paire over Sander Arends/Matwe Middelkoop
Leander Paes may be 46 years old now, but he is still a top-rate doubles player. Yes, it’s been a full 20 years since he was the No. 1-ranked doubles player in the world, but his current ranking is more a reflection of how little he plays rather than at what level he plays at. He should be the perfect compliment to Benoit Paire, now that Paire has shown a new zeal to compete. Paes and Paire should have far too much firepower for the pair from The Netherlands.
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Nature Valley International
Radu Albot over Dan Evans
Evans has the advantage of being a hometown favorite, and playing on the grass that he is familiar with. But Albot beat him when they played for the title in Delray Beach just a couple of months ago, and is a better player, in my opinion. This should be close, but I expect the match to go to the Moldovian.
Cam Norrie over Jeremy Chardy
Norrie, the Aussie who lives in London, should take out Chardy, the Frenchman who lives in London. Norrie is a more accomplished player on the grass, as he’s aggressive, he gets to net, and he’s a very good volleyer. My guess is that this one goes down to the bitter end of a close third set but that Norrie triumphs.
Gilles Simon over Tennys Sandgren
Gilles Simon might be tired, having just gotten to the finals of last week’s tournament called the Fever-Tree Championships in London, where he lost a third-set tie-breaker to Feliciano Lopez, but he didn’t have to travel much to get here, so he should be ready to take on the conservative American, Tennys Sandgren. Sandgren qualified for main draw here, with two wins, neither of which were particularly noteworthy, and should be ready for the grass. But unless Simon is fatigued, Sandgren will get routed.
Feliciano Lopez over Pierre-Hugues Herbert
There are two ways to look at this match. First, Lopez is playing simply brilliant tennis, having just won both the singles and the doubles titles on Sunday in London. He is playing great tennis and should be ready to take on the world. But the second way to look at it is that Lopez is 37-years-old, and should be absolutely exhausted . . . too much so to play at his best. Accepting that Herbert is a very dangerous player, particularly on the fast grass, I’d like to think that Lopez is ready to take on the world. I’m going with the Spaniard, as his resurgence is a thing of inspiration.