ATP Sao Paulo 2014 Draw Preview and Analysis

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 Tommy Haas


The Golden Swing ends in Sao Paulo with the Brasil Open. The ATP 250 event has only been hosted in Sao Paulo for the past two years after moving from Costa do Sauipe, where it was held since the initial edition in 2001. Spaniards have won each of the past six titles with Rafael Nadal winning last year although he will not defend his title.

Check out the Full Draw: ATP Sao Paolo 2014 Draw

Top seed Tommy Haas‘s decision to play this event looks odd on the face of it after making the switch to clay between two hard court events. He lost to Steve Johnson in Delray Beach last week to fall to 5-5 on the year. He gets a first round bye before playing either Alejandro Gonzalez or a qualifier in round one. Gonzalez remains winless on the main tour after another loss in Rio de Janeiro. The qualifying draw holds some winnable opponents for him including Potito Starace and Dusan Lajovic.

It was Pablo Cuevas who inflicted Gonzalez’s latest defeat on him, winning in three sets. The Uruguayan then pushed Fabio Fognini to three sets but ultimately couldn’t pull out the win. At all levels, Cuevas is 4-4 against first round opponent Horacio Zeballos although the only top level meeting was won by Cuevas in Barcelona 2010. Guido Pella and Leonardo Mayer face off in an all-Argentine clash to round off the quarter. After a promising few weeks, Mayer came crashing back down to earth in Rio with a 6-0 6-2 loss to Albert Ramos.

Ramos was a quarter finalist in Buenos Aires and will be disappointed to have not done the same in Rio after a three set loss to Joao Sousa. The Spaniard opens with a qualifier with fourth seed Juan Monaco awaiting in round two. Monaco ended his losing run in Rio by beating Horacio Zeballos but is still there for the taking and Ramos will take heart from his victory the previous week in Buenos Aires should they meet. Paolo Lorenzi and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez can meet if they both knock out qualifiers in their openers. Garcia-Lopez is 3-0 against the Italian and won at Vina del Mar earlier in the year.

As with Rio, the three wildcards have been handed out to Brazilians and it is the same three players that are recipients. Thomaz Bellucci impressed by making the quarter finals and taking a set lead over David Ferrer. On the way to the quarter finals, he defeated Santiago Giraldo – his first round opponent here. He is now 4-3 against the Colombian and looks to further extend that head to head. Julian Reister is now 0-5 on the year after losing to Pablo Andujar in Rio, he faces an opponent he defeated 6-1 6-1 in their only meeting in Andreas Haider-Maurer. However, that match was almost five years ago at the Constanta Challenger in Romania.

Guilherme Clezar didn’t do much to show why he was deserving of his wildcard with a 6-1 6-1 loss to Federico Delbonis. He faces an opponent who had to withdraw from Rio in Martin Klizan but not before defeating the seed Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in round one. The winner will play Marcel Granollers who has a first round bye. Granollers lost in his opener in Rio to Joao Sousa.

Sousa is not to be confused with the final Brazilian wildcard Joao Souza, who also lost in the first round in Rio although he did take a set from Facundo Bagnis. Souza plays Robin Haase who was swept aside fairly easily by Albert Montanes in his last outing. Haase should be a class above the Brazilian and likely takes his head to head record to 3-0. A Haase-Montanes rematch is possible with the pair slated to meet in round two if Montanes can beat Aljaz Bedene.

With Rafael Nadal choosing not to defend his title, Nicolas Almagro will have a great chance of taking a fourth title at this event. He begins against the winner of Filippo Volandri and Federico Delbonis. Delbonis pushed David Ferrer to a first set tiebreak in Rio before losing in straights to the Spanish No.2.

SF: Tommy Haas def. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez
SF: Nicolas Almagro def. Thomaz Bellucci
F: Nicolas Almagro def. Tommy Haas

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