Scouting Report: Alcaraz Defends Rio Crown; Rublev & Hurkacz Star In Doha & Marseille | ATP Tour | Tennis

An action-packed February on the ATP Tour subsequent week sees Rio de Janeiro, Doha and Marseille host a number of the world’s prime gamers.

The season’s first ATP 500 motion on clay takes place on the Rio Open offered by Claro, the place defending champion Carlos Alcaraz, Cameron Norrie and Lorenzo Musetti lead the sector.

Meanwhile a pair of ATP 250 occasions — one open air and one indoors — additionally function a bunch of prime names. Andrey Rublev, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Daniil Medvedev are the highest seeds beneath the Doha solar on the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, whereas Hubert Hurkacz and Jannik Sinner headline beneath the roof on the Open 13 Provence in Marseille.

ATPTour.com seems to be at 5 issues to observe at every occasion.

View Draws: Rio de Janeiro | Doha | Marseille

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN RIO DE JANEIRO
1) Alcaraz Defending Champ: The then-World No. 29 Alcaraz’s run to his maiden ATP 500 crown on the Rio Open offered by Claro a 12 months in the past was the primary of 5 titles in 2022 for the Spaniard, who turned the youngest No. 1 in Pepperstone ATP Rankings historical past simply seven months after his triumph in Brazil.

He returns to the Jockey Club Brasileiro this 12 months because the World No. 2 and prime seed. Recent accidents pressured Alcaraz to cease competing for greater than three months previous to the Argentina Open in Buenos Aires. But the 19-year-old will look to proceed his return to prime type within the first spherical towards 22-year-old Brazilian wild card Mateus Alves.

2) Can Norrie, Musetti Back Up Clay Success?: Both second seed Norrie and third seed Musetti lifted their maiden ATP Tour trophies on clay in 2022, in Lyon and Hamburg, respectively. Norrie, who will compete in one other remaining on the floor in Buenos Aires on Sunday, takes on a qualifier first up in Rio, as will Musetti.

3) Former Winners Eye Rio Repeat: Prior to Alcaraz, the 4 champions in Rio have been Cristian Garin (2020), Laslo Djere (2019), Diego Schwartzman (2018) and Dominic Thiem (2017). All 4 are again in Brazil in search of one other success this 12 months. Thiem opens towards house favorite Thiago Monteiro and will play Norrie within the second spherical.

4) Bellucci Says Goodbye: A legend of Brazilian tennis, Thomaz Bellucci will deliver his skilled profession to an in depth this week in Rio. The 35-year-old, who made his ATP Tour debut in 2008, lifted 4 tour-level titles and reached a career-high No. 21 within the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in 2010, making him the second-highest ranked Brazilian of all time after former World No. 1 Gustavo Kuerten. Bellucci will play sixth seed Sebastian Baez within the first spherical and accomplice Monteiro in doubles. 

5) Home Hopes Seek Doubles Glory: Each of the highest two seeded pairings in Rio include a house favorite. Rafael Matos and his Spanish accomplice David Vega Hernandez, who lifted 4 ATP Tour titles collectively in 2022, are the highest seeds, whereas Marcelo Melo and Colombian Juan Sebastian Cabal are seeded second. Defending champions Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini are seeded third.

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FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN DOHA
1) Rublev Top Seed: The 25-year-old Rublev holds fond recollections of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, the place he reached his maiden tour-level hard-court remaining in 2018 and lifted the trophy in 2020. The Top 10 star will search to bounce again shortly from his early defeat to Alex de Minaur in Rotterdam when he takes on Tallon Griekspoor or Quentin Halys in his opening match on the Khalifa International Stadium.

2) Felix, Daniil Debuts: Medvedev delivered an imperious efficiency on Friday to finish Auger-Aliassime’s Rotterdam title defence on the quarter-final stage, and the pair would meet once more ought to they attain the semi-finals in Doha. Both gamers are making their debut on the ATP 250 occasion in Qatar, the place Auger-Aliassime is seeded second and Medvedev third.

3) Can Zverev Build Big Run?: Alexander Zverev’s bid to recapture his finest type after a long-term ankle harm takes the German to Doha, the place he’s the fourth seed on occasion debut.

The 25-year-old will face a troublesome opening check towards two-time champion Andy Murray or Lorenzo Sonego. Despite a 3-5 tour-level file for 2023, the 19-time ATP Tour titlist Zverev will carry with him confidence from wins towards Stan Wawrinka and Adelaide-2 champion Soonwoo Kwon in current weeks.

4) RBA Chases Doha Hat-trick: Roberto Bautista Agut hit some red-hot type to seize his second Doha crown a 12 months in the past. The Spaniard, who additionally lifted the trophy in Qatar in 2019, dropped only one set in final 12 months’s title run and is seeded fifth this time round as he seeks his ninth ATP Tour title on laborious courts, and his twelfth general.

5) Mektic/Pavic Lead Doubles Field: Nikola Mektic and Mate Pavic started their 12 months by clinching their fifteenth tour-level title as a staff in Auckland. Despite a first-round exit in Rotterdam final week, the Croatians might be assured as the highest seeds at an occasion the place Pavic triumphed in 2018 alongside Oliver Marach.

Among their rivals in Doha are Australian Open finalists Hugo Nys and Jan Zielinski, who’re seeded second, and third seeded Rohan Bopanna and Matthew Ebden. Bopanna can also be a former champion, having gained in 2020 alongside Wesley Koolhof.

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FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN MARSEILLE
1) Red-Hot Sinner: The 21-year-old Sinner has loved a standout February up to now on European laborious courts. He lifted his seventh tour-level title in Montpellier per week in the past and is about to tackle Tallon Griekspoor within the Rotterdam semi-finals on Saturday evening. Can the Italian, who’s seeded second for the Open 13 Provence, proceed that type beneath the roof in Marseille?

2) Hubi Top Seed: Hurkacz arrives within the south of France with a 6-4 file for the 12 months and the Pole might be eager for a deeper run at an occasion the place he reached the second spherical in 2019 and 2020. The 26-year-old Hurkacz, the highest seed, is chasing his first ATP Tour title since Halle final June. He opens towards house favorite Arthur Rinderknech or Switzerland’s Leandro Riedi.

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3) Gasquet Leads Home Charge: The seventh-seeded Richard Gasquet, who lifted his sixteenth ATP Tour title in Auckland in January, is the highest-ranked of seven Frenchmen (not together with qualifiers) in search of to change into the primary house champion in Marseille since Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2017. Among the house hopes becoming a member of Gasquet within the draw are Benjamin Bonzi, Rinderknech, and #NextGenATP skills Arthur Fils and Luca Van Assche.

4) Grigor, Stan Look To Make Marseille Mark: Fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov is chasing his first match win on his third look in Marseille, however the Rotterdam semi-finalist will hope his constant 2023 type will help break that duck this week. Another former World No. 3, Stan Wawrinka, was a quarter-finalist in 2015 and 2016 however will hope to enhance his 3-4 general occasion file with a deeper run this time round.

5) Frenchmen Lead Doubles Field: Edouard Roger-Vasselin is a two-time champion in Marseille, and the house favorite and Mexico’s Santiago Gonzalez are the highest seeds within the doubles draw. The man Roger-Vasselin gained alongside in 2012, Nicolas Mahut, is seeded second with Fabrice Martin, whereas Belgian duo Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen are the third seeds.

Source web site: www.atptour.com

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