The ATP World Tour rolls on to Asia this week with two indoor tournaments on the continent. The Thailand Open is provides 250 ranking points for the winner. The tournament is a fairly new one having been set up in 2003 with Taylor Dent winning the first event. Only Roger Federer has won this event more than once, something second seed Richard Gasquet hopes to emulate as well as his fellow Frenchman Gilles Simon.
Full Draw: ATP Bangkok 2013 Draw
Tomas Berdych (Player Profile) leads the field here as top seed as he looks to win his first title of the year. He looks heavy favourite to do so here but quite notably has a bad record against many of the seeds with only winning records against Jarkko Nieminen and Lukas Rosol – however both are in his half of the draw. Berdych opens against either Roberto Bautista-Agut or a qualifier. Colombians Santiago Giraldo and Alejandro Falla lead the qualifying seeds while Amir Weintraub is also in with a shout of making the main draw.
Eighth seed Lukas Rosol finally ended a horror run of losses at 10 with a run to the quarter finals in St Petersburg. He will be disappointed to have lost to Michal Przysiezny after taking the second set 6-1 but it at least bodes well for his participation here. He faces Lukasz Kubot in round one whom he has beaten twice out of their three meetings. The one Kubot did win was at this very tournament in 2011 with a 6-3 6-3 scoreline in the first round. Either Yen-Hsun Lu or Evgeny Donskoy await in round two. Lu can thank the many weaker Asian challenger tournaments he plays for his ranking but his best run here is only a second round. A weather delayed Kaohsiung challenger also means Lu may come into this tournament on very short rest with the semi final and final on the same day.
Gilles Simon (Player Profile) is the other former champion in this draw and he is extremely competent indoors with three of his titles on the surface including this one in 2009. He made the final of Metz without dropping a set and will hope to take the good form into Bangkok. Ivo Karlovic and his monster serve will pose a tough test for Simon should he defeat Bernard Tomic but Simon has shown he is capable of defeating the Croatian indoors having done so in Madrid while it was still an indoor tournament. Tomic has been in the news more for off court problems than on court success, something that is bound to be playing on his mind when he takes to the court.
Jarkko Nieminen‘s record on other surfaces has been average but the Finn has always performed well indoors although he doesn’t have an ATP title to his name. He has not had a losing record in the past four years on the surface and defeated Milos Raonic here last year. He has a 3-1 record against Igor Sijsling, who is looking to reverse a slide of eight straight defeats.
Robin Haase plays Daniel Gimeno-Traver in a match probably more suited to clay. Prior to losing to Jurgen Zopp in St Petersburg, Gimeno-Traver spent a fortnight in Europe playing Challenger events picking up titles in Seville and Alphen.
While the perceived weaker seeds reside in the top half, there isn’t much at all in terms of unseeded players that could shock the bottom half. Feliciano Lopez plays Laslo Djere in the Serbian’s first ATP match. Djere was a former top 3 player at Junior level but failed to impress at the slams, not making the semi finals in any of them and losing in the first round in Australia.
The winner of an all qualifier match is up next while the second young wildcard to make his ATP debut also resides in this quarter. Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul failed to make it out of Kaohsiung Challenger qualifiers last week and should be outclassed by Marinko Matosevic. Milos Raonic (Player Profile) will be looking at revenge against Matosevic after the Australian dumped him out of Washington in straight sets.
Mikhail Youzhny plays Paolo Lorenzi in his opener. The Italian added another defeat on his rare foray into the surface in St Petersburg and it is unlikely anything different happens here. Youzhny will be looking to bounce back after losing to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez early this week. Suk Young-Jeong made the final of Bangkok Challenger a few weeks back but will be making his main draw debut. Denis Istomin remains one of the tougher non seeded opponents and it could be a difficult time for the young Korean.
Richard Gasquet (Player Profile) should have a fairly easy opener as he seeks to defend his title. Either a qualifier or Lukas Lacko are up first for the US Open semi finalist. Gasquet has defeated Lacko on both occasions they have played, dropping just seven games between the two matches.
SF – Berdych def. Simon
SF – Gasquet def. Raonic
F - Berdych def. Gasquet
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