Oeiras and Munich previews and predictions

Before the final two-week push of Masters 1000 events leading up to the French Open, more modest tournaments in Oeiras and Munich are taking center stage. More than a few notable players, however, are on board to pique fans’ interest. Tomas Berdych and Milos Raonic are making rare 250-point appearances in Oeiras, while a hard-to-predict field in Munich includes Fabio Fognini, Tommy Haas, Gael Monfils, and Lleyton Hewitt.

Portugal Open

Where: Oeiras, Portugal
Surface: Clay
Prize money: 426,605 Euros
Points: 250

Top seed: Tomas Berdych
2013 champion
: Stanislas Wawrinka (not playing)

Draw analysis: Last year the headliners were David Ferrer and Stanislas Wawrinka and they successfully battled their ways to a title match between the top two seeds. This time it is Berdych and Raonic leading the way. Both players have a great chance of taking care of business in what is an otherwise relatively weak field. Berdych, though, is in the tougher half. Crowd favorite Joao Sousa is a potential quarterfinal opponent and other dangerous clay-courters who could face Berdych in the semis are Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Pablo Carreno Busta, and Victor Hanescu. All three men are in fine form, making for a difficult second quarter of the bracket.

Raonic should cruise through his opener before a possible date in the last eight with a red-hot Teymuraz Gabashvili. It’s hard to imagine anyone other than Raonic or Gabashvili advancing to the semifinals from that section. The third quarter, however, is wide open. Seeds Marcel Granollers and Dmitry Tursunov are looking extremely vulnerable right now and a trio of unseeded players are more than capable of capitalizing. That trio includes Albert Montanes, Alejandro Gonzalez, and Barcelona finalist Santiago Giraldo.

First-round upset alert: Pablo Carreno Busta over (8) Mikhail Kukushkin. This would, of course, only be an upset according to seeding. The surface favors Carreno Busta, who advanced two rounds in Monte-Carlo as a qualifier and made a run to the Oeiras semifinals last season—also as a qualifier. He dominated their only previous encounter with Kukushkin on the clay courts of the Tanger Challenger last year. The Spaniard was two games away from victory in the second set when Kukushkin retired.

Hot: Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Teymuraz Gabashvili, Andrey Golubev, Alejandro Gonzalez, Santiago Giraldo

Cold: Matthew Ebden, Filippo Volandri, Lukasz Kubot, Pablo Cuevas

Quarterfinal predictions: Tomas Berdych over Joao Sousa, Pablo Carreno Busta over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Albert Montanes over Alejandro Gonzalez, and Milos Raonic over Teymuraz Gabashvili

Semifinals: Berdych over Carreno Busta and Raonic over Montanes

Final: Berdych over Raonic

BMW Open

Where: Munich, Germany
Surface: Clay
Prize money: 426,605 Euros
Points
: 250

Top seed: Fabio Fognini
Defending champion
: Tommy Haas

Draw analysis:Has a seeded contingent ever been so unspectacular? Perhaps not. A whopping seven of the eight seeds in Munich have retired from at least one match due to injury in 2014 (Andreas Seppi is the only exception). Fognini retired without winning a game against Giraldo in Barcelona, Philipp Kohlschreiber also retired against Giraldo, Haas has been dealing with shoulder trouble the entire year, Mikhail Youzhny has not won a match since pulling out of Dubai prior to the quarterfinals, Monfils retired during the first set of Saturday’s Bucharest semifinal against Grigor Dimitrov, Feliciano Lopez failed to finish a match earlier this month in Houston, and Ivan Dodig had won just a single match since mid-February prior to Barcelona.

The unseeded group features plenty of depth with players who may be able to take advantage. Haas’ section is riddle with veterans, as the 36-year-old could open against Jarkko Nieminen before facing Hewitt. Jurgen Melzer is finally back from a shoulder injury and is playing well enough to be a factor in the Monfils-Kohlschreiber quarter. You never know what Fognini is going to bring to the table and he may not be too enthused about an opening match against either Ivo Karlovic or Dustin Brown. Federico Delbonis also has to like his chances of doing damage in the top section of the bracket.

First-round upset alert: Denis Istomin over (5) Philipp Kohlschreiber. Not only is Istomin 3-0 lifetime against his opponent (2-0 at the ATP level), but Kohlschreiber is also coming off a quarterfinal Barcelona retirement to Giraldo due to a leg injury. Although the Uzbek is not in absolutely outstanding form, he at least managed to reach the quarterfinals in Bucharest.

Hot: Jiri Vesely, Alexander Zverev

Cold: Tommy Haas, Mikhail Youzhny, Nikolay Davydenko, Lleyton Hewitt

Quarterfinal predictions: Fabio Fognini over Federico Delbonis, Jurgen Melzer over Feliciano Lopez, Philipp Kohlschreiber over Dudi Sela, and Lleyton Hewitt over Jarkko Nieminen

Semifinals: Fognini over Melzer and Hewitt over Kohlschreiber

Final: Fognini over Hewitt

Comments and your own predictions are appreciated!

20 Comments on Oeiras and Munich previews and predictions

  1. RT @tennisabstract: “Fognini’s Munich run is only the 9th time in ATP history that a player has faced 4 non-direct entrants–no one has ever faced more than 4.”

    Hmm…….I’m sure ol’ man Fed had a sweet draw in Paris, was it 2012 or 2013 where he faced a slew of qualifiers one after the other?

  2. Vamos Berdy!

    I really want Berdy up there challenging the Big 4. He has been so consistently in the Top 10 he deserves it. Hope a win in Portugal gives him a good confidence boost.

    And he is funny…………best tennis Twitterati out there!

  3. Oh Berdy……………

    Carlos Berlocq is leading Berdy 3-0 in the 3rd set in Portugal…………

  4. It’s now official: clay season 2014 is bonkers:

    RT @SI_BTBaseline: “Upset Sunday: Carlos Berlocq d. Tomas Berdych 06 75 61 to win the Portugal Open and Martin Klizan d. Fabio Fognini 26 61 62 to win Munich.”

  5. OK so Munich and Oeiras were both 250 touneys but both started with a respectable line up of players and provided some interesting matches along the way. How come then that they both featured lop-sided finals and in both cases were won by the underdog. I was watching The Birdy match on Eurosport player but they switched over to motorcycling before the third set. Can anyone tell me what happened. Did he just give up on the match?

    • I was just following both tournaments on livescores ed251137……while I could believe the Fog score because…………he’s the Fog! I couldn’t believe the unraveling of Berdy, maybe he developed an injury or some discomfort?? Portugal was the perfect set-up for Berdy to pick up his first trophy in a while……..

  6. Wow. I just checked the ATP site and saw the Berlocq/Berdych score. Didn’t see that one coming. Especially after Berdych won the first set 6-0.

    • I am just coming on here to read the news. I am shocked at this outcome. I don’t know what’s going on with Berdy.

      This has been a really strange clay season so far.

  7. It was weird. He stormed out, handed Berlocq a bagel and then fell apart. Klizan had a stomach problem and said he had barely slept all night and for much of the time it looked doubtful if he was going to be able to finish the match. Somehow he managed to deliver a baguette to Berdy. Berdy will be kicking himself for losing that match and the title.

  8. All Klizan had to do was ignore the Fog hissy fits and wait for the meltdown which arrived on cue.

  9. Berlocq’s grunt (more like a wretch) is ridiculous. Worse than Azarenka and just as bad (if not worse) than Shazza.

    Too bad he won.

Comments are closed.

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