After his strong run to the finals at the Australian Open,
Murray is the clear
favorite. He has a fairly
straightforward path to the semifinals where Berdych likely awaits. A Murray vs. Berdych semifinal would
definitely be interesting following their tense Australian Open semifinal
exchange (though likely less dramatic). Based on recent form, the
winner of this match should be the favorite to win the title. Murray
will have his hands full against the huge hitting Czech, but he should get through this one
in three sets.
The most interesting match in the bottom half would be the potential quarterfinal matchup of Wawrinka vs. Dimitrov. Wawrinka was once again in good form in
falling to Djokovic in the semifinals.
However, his post match comments about being mentally and physically
exhausted indicate Dimitrov has a good chance to get the win. If Wawrinka couldn't get past his mental
exhaustion at a grand slam, it's doubtful he'll be completely invested in a 500
level tournament. Moreover, Dimitrov's
start to 2015 has been somewhat uneventful, and he'll be looking to start
making some noise.
Raonic should be waiting to play Dimitrov in the semis, as the most dangerous players in his section have been struggling. There's no denying the talent of Ernests Gulbis and Dominic Thiem, but neither has won a match so far this year. While Dimitrov has matched up well against Raonic in the past and is the more diverse player, the big serving Raonic gets the slight edge on an indoor hard court.
Murray vs. Raonic final
would be a good one, and Raonic has given Murray
problems in the past (holding a 3-2 edge).
beat Raonic in straights last time they played, and looks to be in the better
form. Assuming Murray
has recovered emotionally and physically from his draining Australian Open
finals match against Djokovic, he should be the last one standing in Rotterdam.