Saturday, February 14, 2015

Previewing the Marseille Open 13

Marseille's draw is clearly stronger than Delray Beach's, as it claims two players in the top ten.  Milos Raonic and Stan Wawrinka are the top seeds and the fairly heavy favorites to reach the finals.  Raonic could face the always tricky Gael Monfils in the quarters, but Raonic's serve should carry him through on an indoor hard court.

The next quarter is full of talented players, including Bautista-Agut, Robin Haase, Vasek Pospisil, Dominic Thiem, Joao Sousa, Jerzy Janowicz and David Goffin.  Despite their talent, no one in this group has been playing particularly well so far this year.  Big things were expected of Goffin after his incredible second half to 2014, but he's been a disappointment so far.  Janowicz gets the edge out of this quarter, as he makes his living on indoor hard courts in France (don't forget his breakout performance in the Paris Masters a few years back).

Look for Gilles Simon to come out of the third quarter and reach the semis.  Third seeded Ernests Gulbis is still winless on the year, and talented young gun Borna Coric only has one win himself in 2015. 

Wawrinka is clearly the best player in the bottom quarter, but it's possible he'll be a bit tired (or lack motivation) playing back to back weeks.  Still, it's hard to see someone knocking him out before the semis given his relatively weak section of the draw.

In the semis, look for Raonic to get past Janowicz in three, and for Simon to squeak past Wawrinka.  Simon would put up a good fight, but Raonic has never lost to Simon in their three career meetings.  This isn't likely to change indoors, and Raonic should be able to escape with the title.

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