We move from France to the Netherlands for this week’s main feature, ATP World Tour 500 Event in Rotterdam.
Players to watch:
Federer is not defending his title, and a host of injuries leaves this one pretty open. Nishikori will start as the bookies favourite. He’s had a great start to the year by winning in Brisbane and reaching the Australian Open quarter finals. Predictably, he retired through injury on that occasion but it was a good performance up to then. Nishi looks to have a decent draw and should make the semi finals.
Milas Raonic had a surprisingly good performance at the Australian Open. After an injury ravaged couple of years he will be hoping 2019 can be a comeback year for him. Raonic, if he gets past Kohlschreiber, will likely face Wawrinka. Not such a straightforward task but, on current form at least, he will hope a dominant serve can get him somewhere near the final.
Tsitsipas, who defeated Federer in the Australian Open, has not exactly been on fire since. The heavy defeat to Nadal at the Australian Open could have knocked his confidence. He lost to Monfils in Sofia in a pretty lack lustre performance, especially in the first set. But if he gets some momentum, I expect him to compete.
Can Lucas Pouille repeat some of his recent heroics? I expect he will meet Raonic in the quarter finals but will have a tough match on his hands. Expect revenge from Raonic.
A big threat to Raonic Nishikori and Tsitsipas will be Daniil Medvedev. Medvedev has just won the indoor event in Sofia. He dropped just one set in doing so.
I’ll stick my neck out. My money this week will be on Tsitsipas who must show why he is one for the future and compete strongly in the absence of the big 3.