Match is 5:30 am EDT.
J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open
Sunday, July 28, 2019
Cedrik-Marcel Stebe over Albert Ramos-Vinolas
It’s laughable how terrible my picks here in the Swiss Open have been, particularly at the latter stages of the tournament. Whereas my picks on the hard courts in Atlanta have been spot-on, where I haven’t missed since before the quarters, and only one at that, here in Gstaad and, to a lesser extent in Hamburg, my picks on the clay have been off. I must admit that I am not as familiar with some of the nuances of some of the players on the dirt as I am with the fairly straightforward games on hard, and, to a slightly lesser degree, on the grass. But I’m learning fast, as well as being humbled by the mostly European and South American players who play a game that is not as familiar to me as the more attacking, aggressive game played on faster courts.
I picked Ramos-Vinolas to go down to Pablo Andujar, primarily based on Andujar’s absolutely dominating history over his countryman. But Ramos-Vinolas didn’t let that bother him, and he ran away with a straight set victory, 7-6, 6-4.
I didn’t make a pick on the other semi, because the quarterfinal match between Thomas Fabbiano and Cedrik-Marcel Stebe was rained out Friday and had to be played early Saturday morning before the semifinals were scheduled. Stebe won a close three-setter over Fabbiano, which was unexpected, and then jumped all over Joao Sousa after showing some fatigue in the first set. The fatigue part was to be expected, as he only had a two-hour break between the end of his three set quarterfinal match and the beginning of his semifinal match, but he got his second wind and ran away, playing better in the second and third sets than he did in the first against Sousa, a surprise winner over top-seeded RBA in the quarters.
I’m going with Stebe in the finals over Ramos-Vinolas and here’s why: Stebe is coming back from injury and surgery. He got into the main draw with a protected ranking. Yet, the highest his ranking has ever been was No. 72, in 2012. So, how good is Cedrik-Marcel Stebe? I really don’t know. If this tournament is an indicator, he’s very good. But what I do know is that these guys have played twice in the past two years and Stebe has won both. Is he good enough to win his first ATP Tour title? We’ll know shortly.
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