Predicted Winner in BOLD
Hall of Fame Tennis Championships
Newport, RI Surface – Grass
1 John Isner vs. Lleyton Hewitt
Defending champion John Isner has played well to reach the final. Ivo Karlovic has troubled Lleyton Hewitt in the past. Still, this grass court season has favored veteran players. I think that trend continues and Hewitt caps a magical week. Lleyton will be getting inducted into the Hall of Fame at some point in the future so getting a win here and now will smooth that transition.
Stuttgart, Germany Surface – Clay
2 Juan Monaco vs. 1 Janko Tipsarevic
I think Janko has more talent than Monaco, but that Monaco is more steady. On clay, I think steady beats talent so Monaco grinds out another title. I have to give Monaco credit for pushing along and continuing to fight. He took two of the most one-sided beatings I have ever seen at the 2011 US Open vs. Roger Federer and the 2012 French Open vs Rafael Nadal. Monaco’s ranking and winning percentage are solid.
Studena Croatia Open
Umag, Croatia Surface – Clay
Marcel Granollers vs. 2 Marin Cilic
Cilic has been playing much better tennis as of late. I think a win here could help push Cilic toward fulfilling at least some of the promise he showed at the 2009 US Open and 2010 Australian Open. Granollers is a tough competitor, and he could take this title. However, Cilic on home soil should build on recent momentum and win another title.
SkiStar Swedish Open
Bastad, Sweden Surface – Clay
2 Nicolas Almagro vs. 1 David Ferrer
I love Almagro’s game and he did give Nadal his second toughest match at Roland Garros. Ferrer is the percentage pick here. David reached the semifinal round at Roland Garros, won a grass court tune-up and then pushed Andy Murray hard in the Wimbledon quarterfinal round. Ferrer winning another title would help to push him closer and closer to the big 4.