Winston-Salem 250, USA:
With US Open qualifying this week (with the Aussie match ups still to come out for the Wednesday AEST start there is only the one event on the ATP calendar. With a 48 draw event, it allows for more players to compete, and get some quality match practice before the final Slam. For the Aussies, we have Rinky Hijikata, Aleksandar Vukic and Max Purcell. Jason Kubler was undefeated on the opening day with the Sunday start by American Brandon Nakashima 1-6, 6-3, 6-7(3) The way Aussie men’s tennis is flourishing at the moment, there’s every chance we may have another great week. A pretty good filed around them though, including Borna Coric, Tallon Griekspoor, and Sebastian Korda. Dominic Thiem sneaks in as the last direct entry at a ranking of 112.
Cleveland 250, USA:
The WTA 250 events aren’t known for their depth usually, but this week in Cleveland, the field looks quite strong. Caroline Garcia is the sole top 10 player, but just outside of that, we have Barbora Krejcikova, Veronika Kudermetova, and Ekatarina Alexandrova. Add to that, young guns, Mirra Andreeva, Leylah Fernandez, and Linda Fruhvirtova, and it should be, not just a great lead in to the US Open, but a great event in its own right.
Chicago 125, USA:
In form Dutch woman, Arantxa Rus takes the top seeded position here, as she establishes herself inside the top 50 for the first time in her career, on the back of a fantastic season so far. Some other notables competing this week include Alize Cornet, and Kaia Kanepi, who, at age 38 is starting to slip down the rankings a little, to currently 135.
ATP Challenger Tour:
Augsburg 50, Germany:
First time returning here since 2019. Argentinian, Hernan Casanova will be the top seed, ranked 238. He has been hovering around the mid 200’s all year, so will be hoping for 50 valuable points to push him closer to his career high of 221. Number 2 seed (at time of cut-off), Lebanon’s Benjamin Hassan is currently right on his career high of 200, after starting the year outside 300, so no doubt he will be wanting to continue the rise this week.
Lima 50, Peru:
With a last direct entry of 564, and Argentinian, Juan Pablo Ficovich, the top seed, ranked at 272, it’s probably fair to say it’s a wide open event. Although it might seem fairly weak on paper at most of the Challengers this week, it means there are plenty of players fighting for the chance to gain points they may not normally be competing for. Renzo Olivo, the number two seed, has been as high as 78, but after starting the year at 183, he finds himself outside the top 300, and it is events like this that can give him the boost he needs to climb the rankings again.
Prague 50, Czech Republic:
Austrian Lukas Neumayer is the number one seed here, ranked 225. He dropped down to the mid 300’s, but has fought back nicely of late, and he’ll be hoping to get into a position where Aussie Open qualifying is a certainty for him. To do that, he needs to take advantage of these kind of draws. Lukas Rosol, the 38 year old Czech, is competing here. After reaching a career high 26, he has now slipped to 349 in the world. While it’s unlikely we’ll see him at the Slams again, he’s still capable of making deep runs at events like this.
Zhuhai 50, China:
Returning to Zhuhai for the first time since before Covid, it is a much weaker draw than previous editions, as it’s moved from March to August. In 2018, Alex Bolt defeated Hubert Hurkacz here to take the title. Alex isn’t back, but there are a few Aussies in the draw. James McCabe, Philip Sekulic, and Luke Saville, will all fancy their chances of getting some nice points to lift their ranking. Lithuanian, Ricardas Berankis, who has been in the top 50, will be top seed, currently ranked 257.
W60 Collonge-Bellerive, Switzerland:
No Aussies here, but 8 women inside the top 200 will ensure a quality week of tennis. Italian, Lucrezia Stefanini is close to her career high of 99, and will take the top seeded position, in front of Spaniards, Nuria Parrizas-Diaz, and Jessica Bouzas Maneiro.
W60 Prague, Czech Republic:
Seone Mendez will be the sole Aussie competing here this week. She has brought her ranking down into the top 200, from starting the year well outside 300. Hungarian, Dalma Galfi is the clear top seed ranked 118, but after her, it’s a fairly even tournament, so Seone might have a chance to make a deep run.
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