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BMW Munich Open 2019 draw preview and predictions: Zverev goes for third title but draw packed with in-form clay-courters

Hannah Wilks in ATP Tour 27 Apr 2019
  • Alexander Zverev leads the BMW Munich Open draw in 2019
  • Two-time champion Zverev faces stiff competition from in-form clay-courters
  • We break down the draw and predict the semifinalists 
Alexander Zverev (PA Sport)

A draw full of in-form clay-courters stand between Alexander Zverev and a third BMW Munich Open title in 2019.

With top seeds Alexander Zverev and Karen Khachanov looking for form and struggling for wins in the clay-court season thus far, opportunity knocks at the BMW Munich Open for the likes of the in-form Guido Pella, big-serving Jan-Lennard Struff and veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber, who owns a superb record at the ATP 250 event in Munich. 

We break down the draw and predict the semifinalists.

Top quarter

Projected quarterfinal: Alexander Zverev (1) vs Diego Schwartzman (6) (1-1)
Alexander Zverev (PA Sport)

Two-time BMW Munich Open champion Alexander Zverev is back and looking for a third title, and maybe he’s never needed to lift this trophy more, after failing to win back-to-back matches in Marrakech, Monte Carlo and Barcelona – and it wasn’t as if Zverev was having a particularly good year before the clay season started, either, with a runner-up finish in Acapulco the only highlight.

Expectations were so high after Zverev’s ATP Finals win last year and he needs to win something quickly to stop his ‘bad season’ becoming a narrative that runs away with itself. He hasn’t got the easiest draw but either compatriot Maximilian Marterer or Juan Ignacio Londero in the second round should be manageable enough. 

Projected quarterfinal opponent Diego Schwartzman beat Zverev for the loss of just one game in their only clay-court meeting so far – but that was quite a while ago, and the Argentine isn’t on great form himself. He also has to contend with Marrakech champion Benoit Paire in the first round and Chile’s rising Christian Garin, who is 14-5 on clay so far this year, in the second round. I like Garin to come through to the quarterfinal, but there will never be a better week for Zverev to find some confidence and form.

Semifinalist: Zverev

Second quarter

Projected quarterfinal: Marco Cecchinato (3) vs Marton Fucsovics (8) (0-2)
Jan-Lennard Struff (PA Sport)

Should this quarterfinal materialize, it will be a rematch of last year’s Munich match which Marton Fucsovics won 7-6(5), 6-1.

Surprise French Open semifinalist Marco Cecchinato has ebbed and flowed so far in 2019, making the Doha semifinals in January, coming through some very good players to win the Argentina Open title in Buenos Aires in February, coming back from a bagel first set to beat Stan Wawrinka at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters in April. He could face either 2014 Munich champion Martin Klizan or fellow former Roland Garros semifinalist Ernests Gulbis in the second round – three unpredictable players who can eb brilliant or appalling, depending on the day.

A quarterfinalist at the Munich Open last year, shortly before he picked up the Geneva title, Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics already has a title under his belt for 2019 in Sofia and would look a fairly reliable pick for the quarterfinals at least were it not for the presence of big-serving Jan-Lennard Struff as his likely second-round opponent. Struff was a semifinalist in Munich in 2014 and has made the quarterfinals on his last two appearances; he’s also on good form, having beaten Stefanos Tsitsipas and David Goffin to make the quarterfinals in Barcelona where he played Rafael Nadal hard in a 5-7, 5-7 defeat. I like his chances.

Semifinalist: Struff

Third quarter

Projected quarterfinal: Guido Pella (7) vs Roberto Bautista Agut (4) (0-1)

Guido Pella (PA Sport)
The 2017 runner-up Guido Pella returns to the BMW Munich Open having a great season, up to a career-high ranking of world no. 28 after making the final in Cordoba, winning the title in Sao Paulo and reaching the quarterfinals of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.

With a 17-5 win-loss record on clay for 2019, Pella made the quarterfinals in Barcelona last week and looks like a real threat in Munich. He also has quite a nice draw, starting out with Mischa Zverev and facing Taro Daniel or Ugo Humbert for a place in the quarterfinals, where he would likely come up against Roberto Bautista Agut.

The Spaniard did win his only previous meeting with Pella and is playing some fantastic tennis in 2019. Moreover, he’s twice made the semifinals in Munich. But clay isn’t his absolute best surface (he’s 1-1 so far this year) and I think Pella would have a great chance to get the upset.

Semifinalist: Pella

Fourth quarter

Projected quarterfinal: Kyle Edmund (5) vs Karen Khachanov (2) (0-0)

What’s up with Karen Khachanov? The Paris Masters champion has the stuff to flourish on clay but he comes into the Munich Open on a four-match losing streak, and while losing to Pella in the first round of Barcelona is understandable, defeats to Lorenzo Sonego and Jordan Thompson make less sense.

Philipp Kohlschreiber (PA Sport)
Unfortunately things for Khachanov don’t look a lot like turning around in Munich, because after a first-round bye he’s likely to face Philipp Kohlschreiber, the seemingly ageless German veteran who has won the BMW Munich Open three times and made the final an additional three times, including last year.

Kyle Edmund has an opportunity to make the quarterfinals here, opening against Denis Kudla with Matteo Berrettini – who has to make a quick turnaround from Budapest where he’s in the semifinals – a probable second-round opponent. If he doesn’t make the last eight, he’s squandered a chance.

Semifinalist: Kohlschreiber

Zverev d. Struff
Pella d. Kohlschreiber

Pella d. Zverev

BMW Munich Open tennis is live from 29 April-5 May 2019

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BMW Munich Open 2019 draw preview and predictions: Zverev goes for third title but draw packed with in-form clay-courters

BMW Munich Open 2019 draw preview, predictions and tips: Jan-Lennard Struff, Guido Pella and Philipp Kohlschreiber all pose potential threats to out-of-form two-time champion Alexander Zverev

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