ATP Winston-Salem 2014 Draw Preview and Analysis

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The Winston Salem Open sees players putting the final touches on their warm ups for the final slam of the year in New York. No top 10 players will be competing but former top 10-er and two times winner John Isner will head the lineup as No.1 seed.  Last years winner Jurgen Melzer also takes part in the event.

Check out the Full Draw: ATP Winston-Salem 2014 Draw

John Isner will look to win the event for the third time in fourth years and as top seed, should be the favourite to do so. He plays either Bradley Klahn or Noah Rubin to begin his tournament. Junior Wimbledon winner Rubin’s experience on the main tour has been limited to Futures and Challenger events with losses in his last 4 challenger matches. With the US Open beginning Monday, the tournament beginning is on a Sunday. Robin Haase defeated Benoit Paire in three sets to book a match with 13th seed Mikhail Kukushkin. Kukushkin has been in decent form on hard courts, although his recent final was at Challenger level in Aptos.

10th seed Pablo Andujar looks a clear choice for a seed to suffer an early exit. However, his first opponent will come into the match with just one win on hard courts all year – this one.  Andrey Golubev and Igor Sijsling are a combined 0-10 on the surface prior to the tournament starting. A familiar wildcard Ryan Harrison should be winning matches against his first round opponent Jan Lennard Struff if he is to live up to his billing. However, a 0 and 2 loss to Tim Smyczek last time out in Atlanta is far from convincing for Harrison. Lukas Rosol will play the winner in round two.

Nicolas Mahut won easily against Blaz Kavcic to book a match against Tommy Robredo in round two. Third seed Robredo is fresh off his shock win over the World No.1 and US Open favourite Novak Djokovic in Cincinnati. The Spaniard could suffer a hangover after an impressive tournament but the seeds in his quarter seem far from trouble some. Andreas Seppi is a projected third round opponent but lost their last meeting on hard courts with ease. Seppi is 6-7 on the season on hard and can move to .500 with a win over Martin Klizan or Federico Delbonis. Klizan is 3-0 against Delbonis in his career.

9th seed Yen Hsun-Lu will play either Blaz Rola or Wayne Odesnik to begin his tournament. Odesnik qualified with an impressive win over Simone Bolelli, defeating the Italian after being a set down while Marcel Granollers will be up against Frenchman Paul Henri-Mathieu or Robby Ginepri. With a head to head that spans 9 years, Mathieu is 3-2 although their opening meeting in 2005 was hit by a retirement. Mathieu won their first meeting since 2008 at Indian Wells this year in straight sets.

Jerzy Janowicz continues to perplex although he showed progress in Cincinnati with a win over Grigor Dimitrov, only to then blow what was a winnable match on paper against Julien Benneteau. He faces a returning Carlos Berlocq who hasn’t played since withdrawing from Umag. There is the potential for a deep run if Janowicz can get going with Joao Sousa the opponent for the winner of this match. Janowicz is 2-0 against the likely third round opponent Edouard Roger Vassellin, who should see off either Marcus Giron or Aleksandr Nedovyseov. Giron is making his first steps onto the main tour and qualified for the event after beating Mate Pavic in the final qualifying round.

Since his shock win in Hamburg, Leonardo Mayer has not played a match. He much prefers clay courts and has gone just 1-1 on the surface this year. He has a tough welcoming to the tournament playing either last years winner Jurgen Melzer or David Goffin. Since losing to Andy Murray at Wimbledon, Goffin has gone on a 22 match winning streak, albeit mostly at Challenger level before capping it with a Kitzbuhel title and qualification for this event. Melzer or Mayer may not end it but it would be extraordinary if the Belgian could extend his run into the US Open. 15th seed Jarkko Nieminen or Benjamin Becker await in round three after the German defeated Pablo Carreno Busta in three sets to make the second round. Nieminen leads the head to head 5-2 against Becker.

Dustin Brown was another to win on Sunday, easily disposing of Alejandro Gonzalez to move into the second round where he will play Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. The entertaining German made the quarter finals of the only main draw hard court tournament he played this year, losing a final set tie break to Peter Gojowczyk in the opening week of the season in Doha. After struggling for consistency for a number of years, there are signs that Donald Young is getting back to his best. A semi final in Washington followed by an impressive performance in Toronto against Grigor Dimitrov shows that he is moving in the right direction. The 11th seed could meet Frank Dancevic in a rematch of their Toronto meeting. Young came from a set down to beat the Canadian in Toronto two weeks ago.

Sam Querrey lost his only meeting with first round opponent Pere Riba in Rome this year although it should be much different on the American’s favoured hard court against an opponent that hasn’t played a main draw match on the surface since Australian Open 2012. Querrey can meet doubles partner Steve Johnson in round two. The 16th seed has been in impressive form with wins over Ernests Gulbis and John Isner in recent weeks. After two weeks of losing to Milos Raonic, Johnson will be pleased to see the Canadian isn’t competing although his last loss before that was against Querrey in Atlanta.

Kevin Anderson has had an up and down season with losses in his openers in Atlanta and Cincinnati being sandwiched between back to back quarter finals in Washington and Toronto. If seedings go to plan, he would meet John Isner in the final whom he lost to in straight sets in Cincinnati. The South African plays Adrian Mannarino or Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur in his first match.

SF: John Isner def.  Tommy Robredo
SF: Kevin Anderson def. Jerzy Janowicz
F: John Isner def. Kevin Anderson

 

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