ATP Rotterdam 2013 Draw Preview and Analysis

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For full draw, please click here: ATP Rotterdam 2013 Draw

One of two indoor hard court tournaments, the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam boasts a fairly strong field for an ATP 500 tournament. The field is headed by 2005 and 2012 winner Roger Federer and contains three more top ten players in Juan Martin Del Potro, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet. Dutchman and two times winner Richard Krajicek is the tournament director.

With his impressive indoor record, it is hard to see past Roger Federer defending the title he won last year. The world No.2 begins against Grega Zemlja whom he saw off in Doha in straight sets last year before a likely clash with Mikhail Youzhny. Youzhny must first defeat wildcard Thiemo de Bakker- the Dutchman had shown promise in 2010 before 2011 injuries put paid to his steady rise up the rankings. He showed promise at the back end of last year winning three clay challengers but will be disappointed to have failed to qualify for the Australian Open this year. Youzhny has yet to defeat Federer in fourteen attempts and after picking up a knock against Marin Cilic in Zagreb it doesn’t appear he will be fifteenth time lucky either. If 2008 winner Michael Llodra can keep up his good indoor form then a potential second rounder with Jerzy Janowicz promises to be a heated and exciting affair. Llodra faces fellow Frenchman Julien Benneteau while the seventh seed Janowicz has a fairly straightforward match against Victor Hanescu. Given the circumstances of his Paris run where numerous players motivations were questionable, this tournament should give a greater idea of Janowicz’s potential at the highest level, especially if he makes it to the likely quarter final against Federer.

The rest of the top half is decidedly French and it wouldn’t be a surprise at all if Gilles Simon and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga made up an all-French quarter final. Simon opens against a qualifier and potentially a second if they can make it past Marcel Granollers. Granollers is still reeling from the embarrassing defeat in Davis Cup against Frank Dancevic where he won just five games and could be prime for an upset from the likes of Daniel Brands and Ernests Gulbis should they qualify. Despite an impressive 2012, it’s unlikely Igor Sijsling will have enough to trouble Tsonga while Martin Klizan and Paul Henri-Mathieu both disappointed last week in Zagreb and Montpellier respectively.

The bottom half of the draw looks a lot more unpredictable with a number of unseeded players who could do damage in the draw. Nikolay Davydenko already owns a 5-2 record over Florian Mayer and it wouldn’t be all that much of a surprise to see him make it 6-2 if he can repeat the form he showed he last year. The Russian took Federer to three and could well have won if not for a late collapse. Bernard Tomic faces Grigor Dimitrov in what looks like the tie of the first round. The pair have been continually hyped but for the most part haven’t really delivered but signs are there that this might be the year for both of them. Tomic won his first ATP Tour title in Sydney while Dimitrov made the final in Brisbane. However, Dimitrov has lost his last four matches and was incredibly disappointing in the straight sets loss to Ivo Karlovic in Zagreb. Benoit Paire and Richard Gasquet could face each other for the second time in less than a week (after their Montpellier final) if both can navigate tricky first round matches. Paire plays Marcos Baghdatis while Gasquet is up against Viktor Troicki. Question marks surround Troicki’s fitness however, after the Serb withdrew down 6-0 4-2 in Montpellier last time out.

After defeating Federer in their last two meetings (Basel, London), Juan Martin Del Potro will be confident he can repeat the trick should he make the final as his second seeding suggests. The Argentinian showcased his indoor credentials with three titles last year (Basel, Vienna, Marseille) but has had a sloppy start to the year and was disappointing at the Australian Open where Jeremy Chardy defeated him in five sets. Gael Monfils is a tricky first round opponent but as of yet the Frenchman hasn’t looked like pulling off a statement win since his return from injury. Robin Haase has had a good week after a multitude of first round exits in the past six months but troubling Del Potro seems unlikely. The pair met at Wimbledon last year where Del Potro won in four sets but Haase must first defeat a qualifier. Andreas Seppi withdrew from Zagreb without playing a match but returns in the draw here as sixth seed where he opens against a qualifier with the winner taking on Jarkko Nieminen or David Goffin. Nieminen always takes it up a notch indoors and is fresh off a Montpellier semi final while Goffin has had a disappointing start to the year – collapsing from very promising positions in both the Davis Cup match against Viktor Troicki and the Australian Open first round against Fernando Verdasco.

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