A stellar cast will head to Rotterdam for the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament next week – the first ATP 500 event of the 2021 season.
The tournament has attracted four of the world’s top-10 players, with Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev set to compete, while former champions Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray will also form part of the field.
Medvedev to Bounce Back From Melbourne Heartache
World number three Medvedev will be the highest-ranked player competing in Rotterdam next week following the withdrawal of Rafael Nadal, with the Russian looking to bounce back from his straight-sets defeat to Novak Djokovic in the final of the Australian Open earlier this month.
That loss in Melbourne not only ended Medvedev’s hopes of landing a first Grand Slam title, but it also saw his 20-match winning streak on the ATP Tour brought to an end.
While that was an obvious disappointment for the 25-year-old, it also highlighted that he is one of the form players on Tour. During his winning run, he beat all of his likely rivals in Rotterdam, seeing off Zverev three times before getting the better of Tsitsipas and Rublev at the Australian Open.
Medvedev certainly appears to be the man to beat heading into next week’s tournament, as he goes in search off his 10th ATP Tour title, while a victory might set him up for a further Grand Slam challenge later in the year – the Russian is priced at
18/1 to win the French Open in June.
Wawrinka Looking to Roll Back the Years
It is fair to say that three-time Grand Slam winner Wawrinka is perhaps heading towards the twilight years of his career, but the soon to be 36-year-old is still capable of raising his game and he has a great affinity with the event at the Rotterdam Open, having been crowned champion in 2015.
That is not the only time the Swiss star has reached the final in Rotterdam, as he repeated the trick in 2019 when he was beaten in three sets by Gael Monfils, who is the two-time defending champion but will not be competing next week.
Wawrinka has only reached one ATP Final since that defeat to Monfils, while his last title came back in 2017, so winning in Rotterdam may prove a bridge too far for the world number 20, but it would be no surprise to see him enjoy an extended run in the 32-man tournament.
Murray Hoping To Make His Mark
Another former champion competing in Rotterdam next week will be 2009 winner Murray, who has been handed a wildcard entry as he continues his comeback from hip resurfacing surgery.
It has been a long road back for the Brit, who is still some way off rediscovering the levels that saw him reach world number one and win three Grand Slam titles.
That was particularly evident earlier this week when he was beaten in straight sets by world number 83 Egor Gerasimov in the opening round of the Open Sud de France in Montpellier – Murray’s first ATP Tour match in four months.
There have been glimpses of Murray returning to form during his comeback – victories over the aforementioned Zverev and Frances Tiafoe at last year’s Cincinnati Masters are evidence of that – so a favourable draw could see the 33-year-old roll back the years.
*All odds correct at time of writing