This week’s ATP Tournaments at Antwerp and Moscow witnessed quite a few first round upsets with higher seeds at Antwerp like Cuevas (6) losing against NextGen qualifier Tsitsipas from Greece, Dolgopolov (8) lost to Laaksonen ranked 96 from Switzerland and Paire (7) lost against Sousa. Other first round upsets at Antwerp included young American Escobedo defeating NextGen star Shapovalov in straight sets, veteran Stakhovsky defeating NextGen star Donaldson and local hero Bemelmans defeating Metz winner Gojowczyk.
At Moscow seventh seed Lorenzi lost his opener against Serbian Djere and fifth seed Rublev was beaten in straight sets by Krajinociv. Other upsets included veteran Sela defeating Coric, Dutra Silva from Brazil knocking out home hope Donskoy in straight sets and Berankis defeated the higher ranked Lajovic in straight sets. At Stockholm there were no major upsets in the first set of first round matches and the three seeds in action, sixth seed Fognini, seventh seed Sugita and eighth seed Verdasco all progressed to the second round yesterday defeating Jaziri, Istomin and Haase respectively.
The top four seeds at Antwerp, Moscow and Stockholm will get their campaigns underway today and tomorrow and, at Antwerp, third seed Kyrgios plays his first match since withdrawing injured during his first-round match at the Shanghai Masters. He faces Belgian Bemelmans for the first time and with no tournament win to his name so far in 2017 and his good form at Beijing recently, were he reached the final, its possible Kyrgios could be focussed and ready to land his first tile this year.
Top seed Goffin, who won titles at Shenzhen and Tokyo during the Asian swing gets his campaign underway at his home event against Wild Card NextGen star Tiafoe from America. Fourth seed Schwartzman (1.20) faces American youngster Escobedo for the second time and surprisingly Escobedo won the last time they met at Nottingham on grass back in 2013. With that in mind its worth opposing the diminutive Argentine as he’s been playing almost none stop since the US Open and could be fatigued and less motivated now he’s back at ATP 250 level.
At Moscow Russians Kuznetsov and Medvedev meet for the first time in the first round today and the winner will face top-seed Carreno-Busta for a place in the quarter-finals tomorrow. Qualifier Basic from Bosnia faces Kavcic from Slovenia today for a place in the second round against Djere and Basic leads the head-to-head 2-0, he is the warm favourite to progress to the second round, which he should do if previous encounters are a good guide.
Second seed Ramos-Vinolas (1.40) faces Lucky Loser Bublik from Russia for the first time tomorrow and its worth opposing the second seed as Lucky Losers do have a tendency to do well in tournament main draws as they initially though they were out at the qualifying stage and they enter the main draw usually with no pressure on them and a nothing to lose attitude, which can sometimes produce a significantly improved performance.
Third seed Mannarino (1.30) gets his campaign underway today against qualifier Rosol and its worth opposing the Frenchman as Rosol leads the head-to-head 3-2, all these matches were on hard courts the same as today’s surface and Rosol has the momentum and advantage of playing three matches already. Fourth seed Kohlschreiber (Advised 15/2) gets his campaign underway today against fellow veteran Seppi. This could be a close one as the head-to-head stands at 6-5 to Kohlschreiber and Seppi leads the head-to-head indoors 3-1.
Sixth seed Dzhumur faces qualifier Bhambri from India for the first time and Dutra Silva faces fellow veteran Sela for the second time and the Brazilian won their only encounter which was way back in 2007 on clay so should have little relevance on today’s outcome. Finally, qualifier Krajinovic faces Berankis and the Latvian leads the head-to-head 2-0, which both came on hard courts, and it’s worth opposing Krajinovic based on that information even though he’s clearly in good form having knocked out the under prepared Rublev on Tuesday evening.
Finally, at Stockholm, the remaining first round matches involving Herbert and qualifier Janowicz, qualifier Bolelli against Troicki and fifth seed Mischa Zverev against home hope Wild Card Mikael Ymer will be completed today and outsiders Herbert and Bolleli could cause upsets today as they lead their respective head-to-head 2-0 and 3-2. Top seed and tournament favourite Dimitrov faces the winner of Herbert and Janowicz tomorrow, second seed Anderson faces NextGen star Chung for the first time tomorrow, third seed Sock faces Chardy today and the American leads the head-to-head 2-0 and should progress to the quarter finals today.
Fourth seed Del Potro faces the winner of the Copil and Struff first round encounter tomorrow, sixth seed Fognini faces the winner of the Mayer and Wild Card and home hope Elias Ymer (twin brother of Mikael) tomorrow and seventh seed Sugita faces the winner of the Gombos and Baghdatis encounter, either today or tomorrow.