ATP Tour: Rotterdam Open - Round of 32 Preview

Tennis Player hits ball

Our tennis guru looks at two of the more exciting clashes coming your way from the ATP Tour's Rotterdam Open round of 32 matches on Wednesday.

Martin Klizan 7/10 | Marton Fucsovics 11/10
This should be an intriguing battle between two players who have long toiled on the ATP Tour to only recently capture more consistent success. They are perhaps not the most glamorous names, but you can rest assured that neither one of these guys will leave anything out there. Martin Klizan is coming off a solid quarter-final showing at the Sofia Open - he managed to beat defending champion Mirza Basic in the process. The 29-year-old Slovak came back from relative obscurity to make a real impression on tour last season. Quarter-finals at the Bavarian International and the high-end Barcelona event were potent harbingers of what was to come. He went on to claim the Austrian Open title before a terrific excursion to St Petersburg towards the end of the year. He would ultimately lose in the final to Dominic Thiem, though victories over the likes of Wawrinka and Fognini highlighted his undoubted talents.  

Martin Fucsovics is perhaps the highest profile Hungarian in men’s tennis since Balazs Taroczy in the 80’s. He has struggled to really fulfil his potential, seemingly destined for journeyman status. But the 2010 Wimbledon Boy’s Champion has shown steely resolve in the last few years, picking up a series of encouraging results. A quarter-final in the Bavarian International was followed victory in the Geneva Open. He then reached quarter-finals in both the Vienna and Shanghai Open. He started the year in interesting fashion, losing to Novak Djokovic in a gruelling three-set match in Qatar. Not to mention the fact that he was a losing finalist at the Sofia Open last week.  Fucsovics is an arch competitor and - at 27- needs a strong season to retain relevance in an increasingly competitive men’s field.  

This will be the second meeting between the two, with Fucsovics holding the lead 1-0. That win was fairly pertinent as it actually took place in Klizan’s home country: Slovakia.  So the smart money seems to lie in a Fucsovics victory this week, especially when you look at his 11/10 price.  

Danil Medvedev 3/10 | Jeremy Chardy 9/4
Turning 32 this week, veteran Frenchman Jeremy Chardy has actually been experiencing a resurgence in form of late. Chardy has reached at least the 4th round in every Grand Slam, though he never progressed past the quarter-final stage. That really tells you a lot about Chardy’s career. But he has always been a dangerous foe with the capacity to surprise top-quality players on his day. He reached his 2nd ATP final last season in the Rosmalen event. Coupled with a semi-final run at Queens, it represented a fertile period for the French stalwart. But it was those back-to-back final 16 showings at the ‘Sunshine Double’ that really encapsulates how threatening he can be. And he has begun this year in fine fashion. He reached the semi-finals in Brisbane before a solid quarter-final showing in Montpellier last week. But he is going to need all his wits about him as he confronts one of tennis’ hottest young properties: Danil Medvedev.  

Medvedev’s victory in the Sofia Open was yet another indicator of the precocious talent at his disposal. The 23-year-old Russian has enjoyed a stellar start to the season. He lost a nail-biting Brisbane final to Kei Nishikori before a run to the fourth round in Melbourne. He managed to take a set off the imperious Djokovic in that fourth round defeat. Medvedev enjoyed a shocking clay-court campaign last year that saw him take a nosedive in the rankings. But the reintroduction of the hardcourt season brought immediate success. He won the Japan Open and the Winston-Salem Open. Further semi-finals in the Kremlin Cup and Swiss Indoors events highlight the level of consistency he has brought to his game. But one has to wonder whether the Russian may be spreading himself a bit thin considering just how much time he has spent on court.  

The Frenchman actually leads the head-to-head 1-0, claiming victory on the grass-courts of Queens last year.  But these indoor conditions should really suit Medvedev to a tee. However, I do feel that there is some value in a Chardy upset at 9/4. Medvedev has played almost non-stop this season while Chardy is in reasonable form.
Written by Damien Kayat for

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