The Delray Beach International Tennis Championships is one of three tournaments this week on the ATP Tour and the only one played on outdoor hard with Indian Wells just under 2 weeks away. Ernests Gulbis won the title last year but has chosen not to defend it while 2006 winner Tommy Haas is top seed.
Check out the Full Draw Here: ATP Delray Beach 2014 Draw
Haas lost to eventual winner Gulbis in the semi finals last year and should at least make it that far once more barring a shock. He and Mikhail Kukushkin play qualifiers with the winners meeting each other in round two. The potential qualifiers include Mischa Zverev, Samuel Groth and Rhyne Williams amongst others.
After losing a third set tiebreak to Jack Sock in Memphis last week, Adrian Mannarino will have the chance for revenge when he takes on the American in the opening round once more. Sock has won both meetings, the other coming in Auckland in straight sets this year. After his Davis Cup embarrassment, Sam Querrey then went on to lose to Alex Bogomolov in Memphis in three sets despite having match point on his own serve in the deciding tiebreak as well as a break lead in the third set. He will likely continue his slump with Feliciano Lopez looking to extend the head to head record to 4-2.
Kevin Anderson won the title in 2012 with victory over Marinko Matosevic but fell to John Isner in his title defence last year. After a disappointing end to 2013, Anderson showed promise with a fourth round showing in Australia and should have little trouble against Tim Smyczek, who he has a 3-0 record over. A booming second round tie with Ivo Karlovic looks likely with the Croatian facing a qualifier in round one.
The aforementioned Matosevic was dealt with in surprisingly easy fashion by Jiri Vesely in Memphis but looks to bounce back against David Goffin here. An all-Aussie second round is possible with eighth seed Lleyton Hewitt favoured to beat Bradley Klahn. Klahn may well be feeling the effects of a fruitful trip to Australia which saw him pick up the title in West Lakes Challenger after winning in Maui 2 weeks previous.
If Marin Cilic chooses to compete in this tournament after an tiring two weeks that saw him make finals in Zagreb and Rotterdam, the latter including wins over Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, then he is most definitely a contender for the title if he hasn’t run out of gas. Benjamin Becker shouldn’t be much of a threat while Yen-Hsun Lu‘s participation could be in doubt due to Saturday’s retirement loss to Ivo Karlovic. Even then, Lu is 0-3 against opponent Ryan Harrison who scored his first main tour victory since Cincinnati against Bjorn Phau in Memphis.
Third seed Kei Nishikori plays a qualifier with the winner facing either Teymuraz Gabashvili or Matthew Ebden. Both were first round losers in Memphis in straight sets.
John Isner has always thrived on North American hard courts and there is no doubt that he is a major threat if recovered from the injury issues that saw him retire in the Australian Open and miss the Davis Cup tie vs Great Britain. He is 4-0 against first round opponent Michael Russell and has the same record against Alex Bogomolov Jr. who he could meet in round two if the Russian can defeat Dudi Sela. Sela won the last meeting between the two, a Challenger final in Busan.
Marcos Baghdatis continues to reap the rewards of wildcards with another here, a week after winning just two games in the final two sets of a defeat against Lleyton Hewitt. He is definitely vulnerable although Jiri Vesely‘s struggles may mean the Cypriot avoids a surprise loss. If he does, Vasek Pospisil should more than likely do a professional job in dispatching the former top 10 player. Pospisil hasn’t played since withdrawing from the Australian Open and makes his return against Alejandro Falla.
SF: Tommy Haas def. Lleyton Hewitt
SF: John Isner def. Marin Cilic
F: John Isner def. Tommy Haas