Another week in tennis is about to commence with yet more tournaments taking place. The sunshine double of course gets nearer but it’s time to put that to the back of our minds and focus on the likes of Qatar. Here are four players to keep an eye on, one from from each tournament.
Perhaps an obvious one, I know, but how could you look past him? Furthermore, he will be frustrated not to have picked up the Dallas title which he was a major favorite for. In that sense, the World #8 hasn’t really got going yet. Looking at the draw, for me, he stands head and shoulders above the rest. In his half there lacks someone near his quality. He will likely meet Tommy Paul in a final which would whet the appetite. Overall, the main reason to fear Fritz is you can sense there will be frustration around him. To have just lost to World #97 Yibing Wu cannot sit well, his pride will have taken a dent. Therefore, the American will come out with a point to prove and a trophy to add to his cabinet.
He’s exciting, fiery, plus competitive and his name is Lorenzo Musetti. He probably falls into the less hyped category of the up-and-coming stars, but sitting at World #18 and continuing to grow, there is no reason why he can’t produce a shock this week. Australia was a major disappointment and like Fritz, he will be coming in with a point to prove.
On the clay though, he has shown to be more comfortable. His draw is solid and all things being equal will clash with Cameron Norrie in the semifinals and Carloz Alcaraz in the final. The bookies will tell you that he wouldn’t win these clashes, although I disagree. Norrie of course is a reliable competitor who can work away at his opponents and wear them down; on clay though he has never truly impressed. The fact he picked Argentina is an eyebrow-raiser, to say the least. As for Alcaraz, well he is a different beast. Let’s not forget though, this will be the first time we have seen him all season due to fitness issues and when not at 100%, the Italian isn’t the man you want to come up against.
The World #5 has had a solid season so far although nothing spectacular, this week I believe this will change. In common with everyone so far on this list she will be mentally hurting slightly after a loss in the final of Lyon–in her home nation of course–to sensation Alycia Parks. Is her draw the easiest? No. Is there such a thing as an easy draw on the WTA though? After all, she sits in the same half as Iga Swiatek. The World #1 has looked, whisper it.. low on confidence as of late though. The Pole bursting into tears during a United Cup tie was quite bizarre and her performances in Melbourne weren’t up to it. Expect Garcia to capitalize.
He got “Cressied” last week, but results like that can happen. When a big server has a good serving day even in accordance with their expectations, you know you are up against it. The Dane, who won a masters 1000 event last year, will be looking to push himself even further this year and compete for Slams. Especially at Roland Garros, I would keep a close eye on him. This is a stacked draw though with the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev competing. So, win or lose this week for Rune you can pretty much assure there will be fireworks going off in his direction anyway.
Main Photo from Getty.