The European ATP clay swing comes to an end with the Bet-at-home Cup, an ATP 250 in Kitzbuhel, Austria. Although the town is more known for it’s winter sports than tennis, the tournament has been going for over 100 years, with the first tournament being held in 1894. The tournament’s position on the calendar now often means that the big names no longer turn up but the event boasts past winners that include Pete Sampras, Thomas Muster and Albert Costa. Robin Haase will be looking to defend his title once more, having won the event in 2011 and 2012.
Full Draw Here: ATP Kitzbuhel 2013 Draw
Top seed Philipp Kohlschreiber was a losing finalist last year and is one of the favourites to go one better this year. He begins against either Leonardo Mayer or the big serving Kenny de Schepper. After a disappointing exit to Jan Lennard-Struff in Hamburg, Mayer was much improved in Umag outplaying Albert Ramos before losing in a third set tiebreak to Martin Klizan. The Argentinian actually has a positive head to head over Kohlschreiber, surprisingly defeating the Germany in straight sets at the French Open last year.
One of five home players in the draw, Martin Fischer qualified and is rewarded with a first round against Horacio Zeballos. However, there is doubts over his fitness after a withdrawal from Umag late in the first set against Andreas Seppi. The winner will most likely play Marcel Granollers, who opens against wildcard Mate Pavic. The Croatian is a surprise choice for a wildcard but showed his talents in Umag where he served for the first set against Gael Monfils only to lose in straights.
No.3 seed Fernando Verdasco comes into the tournament in decent form, backing up his Wimbledon quarter final with a Bastad final and a quarter final in Hamburg. Up first is either Thomaz Bellucci or Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. While Bellucci leads the head to head 3-1, he has won just one of four matches since his 3 month layoff from injury – against a struggling Lukas Rosol.
The surprise two times defending champion Robin Haase is going to have a tough time making it three in a row given the stronger field here compared to last year. Both he and opponent Guillaume Rufin made finals last week, Haase losing in the Gstaad final while Rufin was successful in taking the title in Oberstaufen. Daniel Brands failed to back up his victory over Roger Federer in Gstaad by losing to Victor Hanescu and faces an almighty battle against Carlos Berlocq in round one here.
Albert Montanes gets a kind draw, with the last direct acceptance Adrian Ungur awaiting him in round one. The Romanian has yet to win on the main tour this year with clay defeats to David Goffin and more recently, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. Although highly unlikely, Victor Hanescu could make it an all-Romanian second round if he too can advance. The Gstaad semi finalist continues to improve after a 2012 that saw him slog away on the Challenger Tour, admittedly with great success. He will look to make it 2-0 against Aljaz Bedene.
Dominic Thiem was highly rated after making a junior French Open final but good results at the higher level have been hard to come by, with just two career main tour wins. A competent clay courter like Andrey Kuznetsov will be a very tough match but if he can come through it, an all Austrian second round with Jurgen Melzer awaits.
However, there will be at least one all-Austrian match anyway as qualifier Dennis Novak plays Andreas Haider-Maurer. If recovered from the injury that saw him retire down heavily to Andreas Seppi, Haider-Maurer should find it easy against his opponent ranked outside the top 500 given his credentials at challenger level. An incredibly tough match with second seed Juan Monaco awaits the winner in the second round.
Also in this quarter, Spaniards Daniel Gimeno-Traver and Roberto Bautista-Agut will play qualifiers. Gimeno-Traver isn’t in the greatest of form with just 2 wins in his past 10 matches but will face Antonio Veic who needed three sets in each of his qualifying matches to make it into the tournament. Meanwhile, Bautista-Agut’s opponent had a much easier time – Jan Hajek dropping just 13 games on his way to the first round.