ATP Tour: Citi Open (Washington Open) Preview

Citi Open (Washington Open) Preview

We take a look at the ATP Tour's Citi Open (Washington Open) selected quarter-finals taking place on Friday 2 August 2019. 

ATP Tour 2019 | ATP 500 Series
Citi Open (Washington Open)
William H.G Fitzgerald Tennis Centre, Rock Creek Park, Washington DC

Selected Quarter-Finals - 2 August 2019

Peter Gojowczyk (23/10)
vs Kyle Edmund (3/10)

This is looking to be an old-fashioned slugfest between two, particularly brutal forehands. 30-year-old German, Peter Gojowczyk, will be delighted with his progress thus far. His year has been completely innocuous, including a disastrous run of eight consecutive losses in the wake of the Hungarian Open. Gojowczyk is perhaps your above-average journeyman pro, with three finals to his name.  His one ATP victory came on the hard-courts of the Moselle Open in 2017. When he plays his best tennis he utilizes his height to rifle in powerful serves, aided by that aforementioned rocket of a forehand. The thing that will really encourage the German is the quality of his vanquished opponents thus far. He accounted for Alex De Minaur and Milos Raonic in straight sets. So he seems to have settled into the rhythm of these courts splendidly this week.

Since the injury woes of Andy Murray, it has been the slightly less illustrious Kyle Edmund who has occupied the British Number One Spot. Edmund has actually been on the road to reclaiming the form that saw him make that tremendous semi-final run at last year’s Australian Open. He followed that up with a final at the Grand Prix Hassan II and his maiden title at the European Open. By contrast, 2019 started in quite lacklustre fashion for Edmund. Aside from winning the Oracle Challenger Series event at Indian Wells, nothing was really working for the 24-year-old. He then followed that up with a truly shocking clay-court campaign. But a return to more familiar pastures brought a change in fortune. Edmund reached the semi-finals of the Eastbourne Invitational. He was then slightly unfortunate to lose a five-set thriller against Fernando Verdasco in the 2nd round of Wimbledon. He just accounted for the demise of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and will be feeling extremely anxious to see off his German opponent.

Kyle Edmund leads the head-to-head 2-0, with the last victory coming in Beijing last year. While Edmund has the head-to-head superiority and superior pedigree, I think that the German is excellent value here. Another factor is Edmund’s fitness, which has proved questionable in the past during the business end of events.  

Danil Medvedev (13/20)
vs Marin Cilic (23/20)

One of the few men to break the hegemony of the big four and win a Grand Slam over the past five years, Marin Cilic has endured an extremely difficult 2019 thus far. For a player of his obvious quality, a quarter-final in Madrid is a rather depressing calling card for the season. He has had injury concerns, but I believe that Cilic has struggled to shake the disappointment of some near-misses in recent Grand Slams. Last year’s Aussie Open final was particularly devastating. And his year started with a similarly heart-breaking 4th round loss to Bautista-Agut in Melbourne. Cilic will be hoping that the North American hard-courts that suit his game so perfectly will prove more fruitful. The 2014 US Open Champion may prove to be a dark horse contender for Flushing Meadows should he gain a semblance of form.

Russian Danil Medvedev has really exploded over the past 18 months. He won three titles on hard-courts last season, ultimately winning more individual matches on the surface than any other player. He began the year in similar fashion, ultimately going down to Kei Nishikori in the Brisbane final.  He would then be beaten by Novak Djokovic in the 4th round of the Aussie Open. He then embarked on an excellent run that saw him claim the title in Sofia and reach semi-finals in Rotterdam and Monte Carlo. His clay-court results must have surprised even him, with a terrific appearance in the Barcelona final. A semi-final at Queens highlighted an all-court ability that bodes well for longevity in the game. He thrashed the formidable Tiafoe in the last round and looks ideally suited to this surface.

I was surprised to discover that this will be the first meeting between these two players. You can expect a really bruising baseline brawl. Medvedev reminds me of a young Cilic in many ways. I think that Cilic has a point to prove and could - unbelievably - reach his first semi-final of the season.  

Written by Damien Kayat for @Hollywoodbets

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