ATP Tour: European Open Selected Quarterfinals Preview

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We take a look at selected quarter-final matches set to take place at the ATP Tour's European Open.


ATP Tour 
ATP 250 Series
European Open
Lotto Arena- Antwerp, Belgium- Hardcourts
Selected Quarter-finals- 19th October 2018

Gael Monfils (6) (8/13) vs Vasek Pospisil (5/4)

The enigma that is Gael Monfils has experienced what can only be described as a fairly poor season, particularly after opening the year in such brilliant fashion by winning in Qatar. The winner of seven ATP Titles perhaps enjoyed his most consistent period on the South American clay-courts, reaching the semi-final in Argentina. He could only follow that up with a 3rd round run in the French before a semi-final jaunt in the slightly less vaunted Antalya Open gave his CV some surface gloss.

Wimbledon was perhaps the sight of his most compelling performance, where he lost a pulsating 4th round match to eventual finalist Kevin Anderson. He won another event when he opted to shift down a gear and ply his trade on the Challenger tour. Monfils is coming off a stirring victory over the similarly underachieving Jo Wilfried Tsonga and will be hoping to salvage his season with a late title.

Very seldom will I voice my regrets in the art of speculation, but I did have the strangest feeling that Pospisil may come through that all-Canadian dual with Raonic. I just couldn’t quite get my head and heart to work in unison. Journeyman Pospisil has had a year of little consequence on the tour proper, instead tyrannically dominating the Challenger circuit with some impressive performances. I’ve always felt that it’s a positive sign to be winning at a slightly lower ebb on the Challenger circuit; winning is winning. He won Challenger events in Rennes and Budapest whilst losing finals in Busan and Gimcehon. Looking at the tour proper, Pospisil did reach a semi-final in the poor field of the Vancouver Open. Perhaps his best result of the season came in Miami, where he hustled his way into the 3rd round.

Make no mistake, Monfils will be going into this match as the overwhelming favourite. The 32 year-old Frenchman has won all their previous four matches without dropping a set. Their last meeting came at the 2016 Olympic Games. However, it would seem that Monfil’s powers are on the wane and this could represent an opportunity for Pospisil at 5/4, fresh off that monumental victory over compatriot Milos Raonic.

Kyle Edmund (1) (1/4) vs Ilya Ivashka (3/1)

Brit Kyle Edmund has finally started to rediscover the type of form that typified his remarkable semi-final run in Melbourne. The top seed was utterly ruthless in dispatching of Ramos-Vinolas. He is coming off the back of a quarter-final run in Shanghai and that heart-breaking semi-final loss to Basilashvili. Edmund has showed his all-court game this season, which is usually a strong indicator of a prolonged future in the game. He surprised on clay, reaching the quarters in Madrid and final 16 in a stacked Rome event. He also reached the 3rd Round for a creditable Wimbledon showing. But it is his hardcourt game that is clearly his bread and butter and present. He lost the Grand Prix Hassan II Final in another missed opportunity to claim his maiden ATP Tour Title.

24 year-old Belarusian Ilya Ivashka will be delighted to have made it this far. Victories over Caruso and 8th seed Robin Haase have helped him find some form after a rough patch in Asia. Vashka has mostly struggled on the tour proper whilst only tasting intermittent success on the Challenger circuit. His best result of the year came on the hardcourts of the Open 13, where an extremely successfully semi-final run was punctuated by a victory over Stan Wawrinka. He won a challenger event in Shenzhen but it wasn’t until Canada that we got another glimpse of his true potential amongst the upper echelons. He beat the likes of Sugita and Ryan Harrison en route to a decent Round of 16 run in Canada.

This will be the first meeting between these two, which always adds a slight degree of uncertainty to the air. In reality however, Edmund is currently on an upward surge and should easily dispatch of his Belarusian opponent. 8/11 for Edmund to win in straight sets.


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Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets.net

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