Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: ATP Tour: Erste Bank Open Preview

ATP Tour: Erste Bank Open Preview

Tennis Player hits ball

Our tennis expert previews selected round of 32 and 16 matches coming your way from the Erste Bank Open.

2019 ATP Tour | ATP 500 Series | Erste Bank Open
Wiener Stadthalle, Vienna, Austria (Indoor Hardcourt)
Selected Round of 16 and 32 Matches - Tuesday 23 October 2019

Round of 32 Match

Andrey Rublev (13/20)
vs Felix Auger Alliasemme (23/20)

This clash offers an exciting glimpse into the future of men’s tennis post - ‘Big Three”. 19-year-old Canadian tennis sensation Felix Auger Alliasemme exploded onto the tennis scene over the last year. Many look to his all-court play and tout him as a future World Number One. There’s no denying that there was a hot period for the youngster leading up to Wimbledon. He reached the final in Rio prior to a brilliant semi-final dig at the Miami Open. He then translated that to clay-court success with a run to the Lyon final. He then managed to compile a solid grass-court showing, with a final in Stuttgart followed by a semi-final at Queens. But since then his game has come off the rails somewhat. Perhaps all that expectation and physical exertion was too much for the 19-year-old to shoulder for an entire year. 

Andrey Rublev’s season is completely contrary to that of Auger-Aliasseme. He has a muted start to proceedings, with a loss in the Oracle Challenger Series at Indian Wells his highlight of the opening salvos. But the Russian hardcourt hustler has slowly started to turn his game around, perhaps inspired by the exploits of compatriot Danil Medvedev. Back-to-back quarter-finals at Cincinnati and Winston-Salem were far more like it. He then impressed at Flushing Meadows, accounting for both Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios en route to a final 16 showing. And now he is coming off of a brilliant victory at the Kremlin Cup. So, it would seem that the tide has turned for the diminutive Russian. 

This will only be the second time that these two youngsters will have met. Rublev won their only encounter in Croatia last year. I just can’t really look past a Rublev victory this week. His form trajectory is just the polar opposite of the Canadian.  

Round of 16 Match

Matteo Berretini (4/7)
vs Grigor Dimitrov (11/8)

This promises to be a mouth-watering encounter between the two beaten semi-finalists from this year’s US Open. What a year it has been for Italian Matteo Berretini. He currently sits in the 8th and final qualification spot for the season ending Nitto ATP Finals. So, he will be hugely motivated this week. Berretini showed his grit in his opening match to come from a set down to beat Kyle Edmund. Berretini already has victories in Hungary and Stuttgart this year: he also lost in the Bavarian International Final. Further semi-finals in the Sofia Open and Halle highlight his remarkable consistency. But it was that semi-final run at Flushing Meadows that announced his arrival on the world stage. But just to prove that was no fluke, he bulldozed his way into the semi-final of the Masters 1000 event in Shanghai. Berretini’s season has built beautifully towards this moment. Standing in his way is a man whose season has been anything but exemplary: Grigor Dimitrov. 

The travails of the man formerly known as ‘Baby Fed’ have been well documented. His plummet down the ATP rankings has been depressing to behold. The Bulgarian actually started the year in encouraging fashion, reaching the quarterfinals in Brisbane and the 4th round of the Aussie Open. It looked as if Dimitrov had turned a corner. But that was illusory.  Dimitrov then embarked on a dreadful run that saw him register no wins for long stretches. But then the unthinkable happened. He defied all expectations with a heroic run to the semi-finals at the US Open. That included an epic marathon victory over ‘Adult Fed’. Dimitrov’s opening round victory over Dzumhur was impressive. He won in straight sets and remarkably won 55% of his return points. It also happened to be the 300th win of his ATP Tour career. 

This will be the 2nd meeting between these two.  Dimitrov leads the head-to-head 1-0. Remarkably enough that victory was one of the few picked up by Dimitrov during his mid-season horror spell: he won at Monte Carlo earlier this year. Berretini clearly has the motivation factor considering the Nitto ATP Finals. But wouldn’t it just sum up Dimitrov’s turbulent campaign if he somehow denied the ultra-consistent Berretini?   

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