ATP Tour: Newport Selected Quarter-Finals Preview

Tennis Player hits ball

We take a look at selected quarter-finals from the Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Championship taking place in Newport. 


Adrian Mannarino 4/10 | Marcel Granollers 7/4
Top seed Adrian Mannarino has been at his efficient best recently, playing his traditional role as something of a flat-track bully. He tends to thrive in these smaller events where his more nuanced approach is more perplexing to the opponents. After a bye, he beat Jordan Thompson fairly routinely. Mannarino is clearly riding a wave that has seen him have by far his best period of the season. He lost to Wimbledon Champion Novak Djokovic in the Queen’s quarters before reaching the final of the Antalya Open. He then reached the last 16 at Wimbledon before running into an inspired Roger Federer. Mannarino is a lawn specialist who makes his living from these slightly less prestigious grass-court iterations.

Marcel Granollers is a true journeyman who will likely be ecstatic with his progression thus far. He has already picked up the major scalp of Gilles Muller in the last round. His opening victory was a far more routine win over JC Aragone. Granollers has really had done little on the tour proper worth repeating. His most promising result came in reaching the final 32 and losing to David Goffin in a tight three-set encounter. Other than that, Granollers has admirably plied his trade on the Challenger circuit. He won back-to-back Challenger events in Bangkok and also reached the semi-final of the Launceston Challenger event. He just recently lost in the semis of the Winnipeg Challenger event, so at least he has the feeling of winning in his system.

Quite surprisingly, Granollers leads the head-to-head between the two players 2-1. Granted, the last time they met was at Monte Carlo in 2015. Granollers won that handsomely 3 and 0. But this is the first time the two have met on grass and Granollers has certainly diminished as a force on tour. 4/10 actually doesn’t seem that rough for a Mannarino victory. It’s always dicey opting for a straight-sets victory for Mannarino so I'm staying cautious and just go for the win. 

Steve Johnson 7/20 | Dudi Sela 21/10 
This is an encounter between two experienced players and two ally nations: the USA and Israel. Steve Johnson hasn’t quite had the year as compatriot John Isner, but it’s fair to say that he has also had some moments to savour. He reached the semi-finals of a Challenger event in Irving whilst reaching the same stage in the Delray event. He managed a Round of 32 appearance at the highly competitive Miami event before a sensational win in Houston. He then went quiet before another semi-final in Geneva. The grass-court season has given him little of consequence thus far and I’m sure he will be earmarking this as the perfect opportunity to win a 2nd title this year.

Dudi Sela is a player who has perhaps never fully realized his potential. The Israeli does enjoy the distinction of having his best ever Grand Slam finish on the grass courts of Wimbledon. That was back in 2009 and I think it’s fair to say he is a somewhat different player now. Sela overcame hothead Tomic in the opening round before withstanding the military barrage of Ivo Karlovic in his last match. He lost in his opening match at Wimbledon and has really enjoyed an innocuous season. He did have one result that belied his season. In Indian Wells he managed to beat Gojowczyk and Edmund en route to a round of 32 showing. Sela will be hard-pressed to compete against the indefatigable Steve Johnson.

It surprised me to learn that this will be the first-ever meeting between these two players. One would have thought that two players of such combined experience would have crossed paths at some point. Johnson seems to have found some form and should be far too much for Sela. Johnson to win in straight sets at 19/20 should be easy money. 

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Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets.net

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