ATP Tour: European Open Selected Fixtures Preview

Tennis Player hits ball

We take a look at two matches set to take place at the ATP Tour's European Open this week. 

Vasek Pospisil 26/10 | Milos Raonic 1/4 – Round of 16 
2015 Wimbledon quarter-finalist and 2014 Washington finalist Vasek Pospisil has largely found major success on the doubles circuit. Pospisil is a fairly typical Canadian export, with a booming serve and willingness to shorten points. He has largely plied his trade on the Challenger Series, though to be fair he has had an amazing year on that circuit. He won back-to-back Challenger titles in Rennes and Budapest before semi-final Challenger results at Indian Wells and Drummondville. He once again reached back-to-back Challenger finals in May: losing in Gimcheon before claiming the Busan title. So while he has been largely absent from main tour success- he reached the semi-finals in Vancouver and the quarters at the Hall of Fame Championships- his success on the Challenger Tour highlight his potential danger, particularly as he goes up against a far more fancied player.

2016 Wimbledon finalist and fellow Canadian Milos Raonic has perhaps been overshadowed somewhat by the resurgence of Juan Martin Del Potro. But Raonic’s comeback from major injury issues should not be downplayed. The ‘Sunshine Double’ saw Raonic burst into life, with a semi-final in Indian Wells followed by a quarter-final in Miami. He then reached the final in Stuttgart prior to a quarter-final run at his beloved Wimbledon. He also reached the quarterfinals in Cincinnati and Japan, with a decent Round of 16 showing on the grand stage of Flushing Meadows. Raonic looks to have really turned the corner and looks set for a great 2019.

This is a strange one. They actually share the head-to-head spoils at 3-3, though they met last way back in 2014. All of Pospisil’s victories over Raonic came in their early time together plying their trade in Canada and America. Raonic has looked somewhere near his best again and looks decent value to win in straight sets at 8/10. 

Marcel Granollers 19/20 | Cameron Norrie 8/10 - Round of 32 
32-year-old journeyman Marcel Granollers is certainly far from his best days on the tour. A doubles specialist by trade, Granollers has reached two ATP Finals on the hardcourts. Granollers reached the quarter-finals in the Burnie Open before a semi-final showing at the Launceston International- which are hardly the most prestigious events. Granollers then went on a shocking run, even battling to move through the Challenger events. He managed to gain some traction on the grass courts in Nottingham, reaching the semi-finals of a Challenger event. He then started to gather momentum, culminating in a semi-final appearance at the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships. He would go on to further success on the Challenger tour and he has come through qualifying unscathed.

23-year-old Cameron Norrie is at the vanguard of a new British tennis movement that includes the likes of Kyle Edmund. He reached his first semi-final of the year on the clay-courts of Lyon, which precipitated a really decent run of mid-year results. He reached the quarter-finals of the Eastbourne event before back-to-back semi-final run in Atlanta and Los Cabos. He also reached the quarter-finals in Shenzhen, beating China Open finalist Borna Coric in the process. The lefty is a breath of fresh air and could be poised for a real breakthrough over the next few years.

This will be the first time these two will have met, though they did compete against one another in the doubles section of the Challenger Tour in Nottingham event. The fact that Norrie is a lefty could prove something of an edge in a first encounter. There is always a sense of novelty for lefties that can prove decisive when the margins are this small. Norrie to win at 8/10. 

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Written by Damien Kayat for

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