The other ATP 250 clay tournament this week is taking place in picturesque destination of Umag, Croatia. The ATP Vegeta Croatia Open is in its 24th edition this year with the field headed by Richard Gasquet. Defending champion and home favourite Marin Cilic is unable to compete due to a knee injury while losing finalist Marcel Granollers has chosen to play Gstaad instead.
Full Draw Here: ATP Umag 2013 Draw
Gasquet opens against either Albert Montanes or a qualifier that could include the likes of Dusan Lajovic and Blaz Kavcic amongst the more notable names but will fancy his chances given his dominant record over the Spaniard. He has won all seven of their meetings for the loss of just two sets. Fellow Frenchman Gael Monfils looks likely to meet his friend in the quarters, beginning against young wildcard Mate Pavic with the winner going on to play a qualifier or Florian Mayer. Monfils made light work of Mayer in Stuttgart with his 6-3 6-0 record extending his record over the German to 4-0.
Something seems to have clicked with Fabio Fognini, with the Italian making back to back finals in German with some outstanding tennis along the way to make it there, including defeats of Tommy Haas in both weeks. It wouldn’t be out of the question he could make it three here, with his straight sets win over Gasquet in Monte Carlo proving what he can do against the top seed. He starts with either Dmitry Tursunov or Thiemo de Bakker. The latter pulled off a shock victory against Tomas Berdych in Bastad only to fail to take advantage by losing to Carlos Berlocq in the next round. Albert Ramos looks to make it 3-0 vs Leonardo Mayer in their first round match. The Spaniard was outplayed by Fognini in Hamburg which doesn’t bode well should a quarter final match up between the two happen. Martin Klizan continues to struggle with just three wins in his last ten matches and will hope to end it against Paolo Lorenzi. Lorenzi was dispatched easily by Daniel Brands in Hamburg last week but has a chance against a slumping player low on confidence this week.
Back-to-back opening losses on the clay after Wimbledon have been a surprise for Tommy Robredo, although the latter against Federico Delbonis doesn’t look as bad as it did at the beginning of the week. Jan Hajek awaits this week for Robredo. The Czech was fairly impressive in Hamburg, pulling off a shock victory over Ernests Gulbis before losing to Roger Federer in straight sets. Wildcard Antonio Veic lost in straight sets last week in Poznan to Andreas Haider-Maurer and must now face Viktor Troicki this week in what will be an even tougher test. The Croatian is yet to make a Challenger final this year but has three quarter finals and a semi final to his name. Aljaz Bedene will play a qualifier with the winner taking on 2011 winner Alexandr Dolgopolov. The latter will need to improve after he lost his first match in Hamburg to Florian Mayer.
Carlos Berlocq finally won his first title in Bastad then followed it up with a third round in Hamburg. He starts against a qualifier while Horacio Zeballos will play Borna Coric. There are high hopes for the 16 year old Croatian who already has a futures title and also made the semi finals of Junior Roland Garros. Formerly the highest ranked teenager on the ATP Tour, the now 20 year-old Jiri Vesely plays his first tournament as a direct entrant. He will be familiar with his opponent Andreas Haider-Maurer, having defeated the Austrian en route to winning Ostrava Challenger. Awaiting in round two will be Andreas Seppi, who lost a bizarre match to Marcel Granollers in Hamburg 2-6 6-1 1-6 in the second round.