The race for the remaining places in the year ending World Tour Finals continues to hot up and the outcome of the Valencia Open may make the picture much clearer with 500 point up for grabs. 3 of the top 10 will be in action this week – David Ferrer, Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych.
Check out the full draw Here: ATP Valencia 2014 Draw
Ferrer is top seed and will look to bounce back after losing in the Vienna final to Murray despite leading 5-3 in the third set. It feels likely that the pair will meet again in the semi finals as 1st seed against 3rd. Ferrer will open against Andreas Seppi, whom he is 4-0 against while he has won 5 straight against possible second round opponent Fernando Verdasco. Verdasco opens against Leonardo Mayer who suffered a shock loss to Matthias Bachinger in Stockholm last week.
Defending champion Mikhail Youzhny is unseeded and will begin his defence against Thomaz Bellucci who qualified with two easy victories against Berankis and Berrer to earn his place. Youzhny’s year has been far from great but a 5-2 record in his last two tournaments at least gives the Russian some confidence as he aims to completely an unlikely repeat. It may be that he falls in round two against Roberto Bautista Agut. The 6th seed made the final of Moscow and opens against Santiago Giraldo.
Like Ferrer, Andy Murray also begins against an opponent he has dominated during his career. He is 6-0 against Jurgen Melzer although they haven’t played indoors. While Murray managed to defend his title, it was far from his best and he will need to improve for a potential final meeting with Tomas Berdych. Fabio Fognini seems his likely round two foe – the Italian is 5-0 against Albert Ramos whose is far from comfortable indoors.
Young American Stefan Kozlov was one of a few to open play on Monday – he acquitted himself well against Martin Klizan after a good run on the Challenger circuit. Klizan plays the winner of Philipp Kohlschreiber and Kevin Anderson. After recent losses for Anderson against Tomic and Kukushkin, the South African will hope to return to form here but the German is one of the tougher unseeded players in the draw.
While Alexander Dolgopolov is 2-1 against 8th seed Gilles Simon, the Frenchman has a great chance to tie it up against an opponent who has struggled since his return from injury. The third set tiebreak loss against Adrian Mannarino was his third straight since his return from injury after 3 months. With Jeremy Chardy favoured against Malek Jaziri, an all French clash in round two looks on the cards.
Two Spaniards look likely to play each other in the same quarter after Pablo Carreno Busta moved through to the second round due to a Marcel Granollers retirement. 4th seed Feliciano Lopez will play Norbert Gombos, who qualified with wins over Alejandro Falla and Peter Gojowczyk. Both lost three set matches in the opening round of Vienna last week.
For someone with such a booming serve, John Isner‘s indoor form has always been decidedly average. He doesn’t have a winning record in either of the past 2 years but takes on a player who has not played a great deal on the surface in recent times. Tommy Robredo did however make the quarter finals in Moscow, although admittedly not against the strongest of opposition. Yen Hsun-Lu awaits the winner after a very easy win against Guillermo Garcia Lopez on Monday.
Tomas Berdych rounds off the draw and should coast through to the latter stages of the event as he looks for a second title in 2 weeks after a comeback victory in Stockholm. Pablo Andujar is another who is far from comfortable indoors while Joao Sousa‘s form has tailed off a bit this year. He won Kuala Lumpur last year but his most recent indoor match was a loss to Marius Copil in Stockholm. The Portugese plays Dusan Lajovic in his opener.
SF: Andy Murray def. David Ferrer
SF: Tomas Berdych def. Gilles Simon
F: Andy Murray def. Tomas Berdych