Winston-Salem penultimate event of U.S. Open Series

The U.S. Open is just one week away, so the Winston-Salem Open offers players a final chance to fine-tune their games for the season’s final major.

Last year’s two finalists–runner-up Roberto Bautista Agut and champion Pablo Carreno Busta–are the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds this time around. They are followed by two-time champion John Isner, Kevin Anderson, Pablo Cuevas, Steve Johnson, Paolo Lorenzi, and Fernando Verdasco. Hyeon Chung and Borna Coric are also part of the seeded contingent.

“I really feel good about this year’s tournament,” director Bill Oakes assured. “The worst-ranked player in the main draw (minus the qualifiers) is ranked 100. That means just about everybody playing here will be in the U.S. Open next week. This is a very, very strong field.”

“Having John back is the most important signing for this year’s tournament,” Oakes added. “John hasn’t played here for a few years. John has been a big supporter of this tournament, and I spent a lot of time encouraging him to come back. Getting John back here is a big deal.”

Oakes won’t be disappointed by Saturday’s semifinal results in Cincinnati, because they almost certainly mean that Isner will–in fact–come back for what is basically his hometown tournament. The 6’10” American lost to Grigor Dimitrov, so he will have two full days off before playing in Winston-Salem on Tuesday night as opposed to having the Cincinnati title match on his Sunday schedule.

Isner, who lifted the trophy in each of this event’s first two years (2011 and 2012), awaits either Andrey Kuznetsov or Nicolas Kicker in his opener. The world No. 19 appears to have a friendly draw until a possible date with Bautista Agut in the semifinals.

On the bottom half of the bracket, Carreno Busta will kick off his title defense against either Julien Benneteau or Pierre-Hugues Herbert. Benneteau finished runner-up to Isner in 2011. Johnson, Verdasco, and Chung could also contend for a final spot.

Quarterfinal predictions: Jiri Vesely over Alexandr Dolgopolov, John Isner over Aljaz Bedene, Steve Johnson over Joao Sousa, and Pablo Carreno Busta over Fernando Verdasco

Semifinals: Vesely over Isner and Carreno Busta over Johnson

Final: Carreno Busta over Vesely

8 Comments on Winston-Salem penultimate event of U.S. Open Series

  1. Will have picks up after qualifying. Considering Edmund is in qualies lol. He must’ve signed up late or something so had to play qualies instead.

  2. Winston-Salem –
    Bautista Agut over Dolgopolov
    Isner over Struff
    Johnson over Edmund
    Verdasco over Herbert
    Isner over Bautista Agut
    Verdasco over Johnson
    Isner over Verdasco

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