This week’s ATP European indoor tennis action at Metz and St Petersburg is now underway and both tournaments are still to complete their first round matches. At Metz, top seed Carreno-Busta withdrew due to a right-hand injury and the biggest upset so far was sixth seed Gasquet crashing out in the first round against Istomin 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 while fellow countrymen seventh seed Paire and eighth seed Simon both faced no such drama progressing in straight sets against qualifier Tsitsipas and veteran Seppi respectively.
The remaining first round matches at Metz take place today, including one of my outright selections, Herbert (33/1) playing fifth seed Zverev. One of the other matches involves home hope and Wild Card Mahut who faces Brown and, if the Frenchman can navigate this tricky opener, he could be a dark horse this week from the top half of the draw now Carreno-Busta has withdrawn. The other top-four seeds are due to play Thursday and second seed Goffin will face veteran Almagro, third seed Pouille faces Romanian Copil and he leads the head-to-head 2-0 and is favourite to progress and fourth seed Muller faces Basilashvili and he leads the head-to-head 2-0 and is favourite to progress.
At St Petersburg, there have been no major upsets so far and one of my outright selections Dzumhur (25/1) is through to the second round after defeating sixth seed Lorenzi in straight sets on Monday. Other players to progress to the second round were fifth seed Kohlschreiber (7/1), veteran and home hope Youzhny, veteran Baghdatis, British qualifier Broady and veteran Troicki. There are five first round matches to be completed today involving the young guns clash between eighth seed Struff and Coric, Silva against Vesely, Lajovic against Pella, Medvedev (25/1) against Fabbiano and Sousa against Donskoy.
The top four seeds Bautista-Agut, Tsonga, Fognini and Mannarino (16/1) will get their tournaments underway on Thursday and Bautista-Agut is due to face either Dutra-Silva or Vesely, Tsonga will face either Sousa or Donskoy, Fognini faces Youzhny and Mannarino faces British qualifier Broady.