"Cream of the Crop" Beanalysis: Metz Round One
Hello everyone, my plan here is to fit in both tournaments this week by only doing my writeups on the best looking matches for each round. For this first round, you will get the 4 best matches from each tournament, making 8 total. I will also be doing 4 each for round 2 as well. Once the quarterfinals hit, I will do just the two best from each round, and then do all the matches for the semifinals and finals rounds. This is just for the weeks where there are multiple small tournaments, I won’t do this for the large ones. I did this in order to make the load lighter on myself, and to also give you guys some writeup action for both tournaments. I’m sorry if I don’t cover a match you really wanted to see, but maybe you’ll find a good one next round. Enjoy! (P.S. If you couldn’t tell from the title, this one is just the Metz matches, the San Diego ones will be posted separately.)
Ymer vs. Mannarino
This match is looking to be a good one. Mannarino is coming off of a not so hot loss against a qualifier at the US Open, but in terms of not slams, he’s coming off of a Winston-Salem title, and that is nothing to be ashamed of. I think Mannarino played very well at Winston-Salem, and he had a great tournament there. I did not watch his match at the US Open, but I assume he was just plain tired going from a title win one day, to a 3 set match in 2 more days, I didn’t expect him to put up a great showing. I think Mannarino definitely has the advantage in this match, he plays better than Ymer in most aspects of the game, and I don’t think that Ymer has much of a chance at doing anything to him. Mannarino will hopefully impress us again with a good run this week.
Mikeal Ymer is the kinda player you’d expect to play in round one as a seeded player. His playstyle is not too great, he’s kind of low on the rankings, and he just serves as a warmup for the rounds to come. Ymer is coming off of a mediocre month, but at the Citi Open in August he made a deep run, getting to the semis, beating Murray, Karatsev, and Korda along the way. I was pleasantly surprised by that, but I think he got a bad draw here, and he doesn’t really have the tools to do much to Mannarino at the moment, but I do like the way he plays, and I think he can do very well in any given tournament if he is fortunate with his draw. I am going to have to say Mannarino in 2 here, though.
Karatsev vs. Sonego
Aslan Karatsev has not been too hot in the recent months, having a mediocre “mini clay season” post-Wimbledon, and then having an awful North America hard swing. He won a total of one match during the entirety of August, and he has just been pretty bad on the hard courts this year in general. I think Karatsev might just have some PTSD after just losing to another Italian, Fognini at the US Open. I think that Karatsev has what it takes to be a real threat in tournaments like these, but his swings in play level are just way too common to keep him playing at the top level. People like Karatsev and Kyrgios are hard to judge because you have no idea when they are gonna stop a losing streak and start winning again. I think Karatsev could definitely win this match if he turns it on early. I think that Karatsev could’ve beaten Fognini at the US Open, but I think that he just had bad stamina, or just got outdone as the match went on, and I definitely think he can win in the best of three format pretty well.
Sonego has a similar problem to Karatsev, he has good patches, but then he goes into really rough patches and you can’t seem to judge when he’s gonna come out again and start to win. He has performed well at all of the slams this year, making round three in all of them except for the US Open a couple weeks ago. I think that Sonego could use this tournament to come out and win again, but I don’t know, and that’s the problem. I think both of them have the ability to play very, very well, and I think this match has the potential to be one of the best round one matches. Then again, it also has the ability to be one of the worst in round one, and that all depends on if they start to break through again. These two would definitely benefit from some consistency, but for now, I just have to hope they make this match worth it. As for predictions, I have to go off of their head to head, and also the rankings, and also their highest level, and that all makes Karatsev the winner in 3. But again, this one could go either way based on if one is at his best, and the other at his worst, the tables could easily turn.
Gaston vs. Korda
Hugo Gaston is quite the player, and for as young as he is, I think he has big things ahead of him. I think this match is another stepping stone for him. I think that he is definitely possessing the skills to make some deep tournament runs in the near future. He seems to be at that point where he can play quite well in the challenger tournaments, but he has yet to really make a breakthrough on the main tour yet, and this match definitely is possible to win for him, but he was coming off of a pretty bad losing streak going into last weeks challenger in Rennes, but making the semifinals there might’ve started something. I don’t know. I hope it did though. I think that his draw is quite pleasant looking for him, and this could be his first deep run on the main tour.
Korda seemed to be playing well during his North American Hard swing, he had a good run at Citi, but all of his losses were to low ranked players, so that just feels weird to begin with. I think he definitely is in an odd position here, because he definitely has the tools to win this one, but for some reason I feel like he’s gonna be playing off this week. I don’t know what to make of him, because besides losing to Paul at the US Open, he’s only lost to players at or below his level, and I definitely believe that Gaston fits in one of those two boxes, so maybe that’s why I am getting this funny feeling about this match. I defintely think that Gaston can take this one to 3, but the question is, can he win it? I think he can, and so I am going with Gaston in 3.
Thiem vs. Gasquet
This is the match that was picked first for getting a writeup, because who doesn’t love some Thiem action? I am so very happy that Thiem is getting himself back into the mix here at these 250 events, making the semis at Gstaad, and winning at least a round at most of the tournament’s he’s played at in the past few months. His forehand is getting back to the way it was before the injury, and the consistency is following close behind. Thiem doesn’t quite seem ready for the big events again, but I’m sure he will be making his way up there again. You can’t see much traces of the injury left, which is a very good thing. Once again, I am very happy to see the US Open winner we all know and love back. In terms of this match, we almost got it back at Kitzbuhel a couple months ago, but then Gasquet got moved in the draw. I think Thiem definitely is getting back to where he can beat players like Gasquet easily.
Gasquet has been playing at a decent level in the past few months. He beat Kecmanovic at the US Open a couple weeks ago. I think that he had the ability to beat Thiem a few months ago, but I feel that Thiem has elevated back to a level where he can get through this match in a breeze, unless something bad happens mentally or physically to Thiem. I think that Gasquet has a great serve, but that can only get him so far in a match. His strokes seem to be resembling that of Medvedev, where they are slow, and they don’t really do much to the ball besides getting it back to the other side, but then again, there’s something to be said about that considering Medvedev has a US Open title to his name. This match feels like it’s gonna be another round one victory for Thiem, and I’m thinking it’s gonna be an easy one. Thiem in 2.