Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Gael Monfils, David Goffin and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are some of the big names gunning for the European Open title in Antwerp this week.
(geo restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify)
Now in it’s fourth edition, the 2019 European Open in Antwerp boasts arguably it’s most star-studded field yet, with Grand Slam champions Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka joined in the draw by the likes of enigmatic French entertainers Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, while second seed David Goffin will be hoping to become the first homegrown champion in the Belgian city.
With valuable points on the line as the ATP Race to London heats up, it promises to be a pulsating week in Antwerp – read on below as we break down the draw and predict who will emerge from each quarter.
Projected quarter-final: Gael Monfils (1) vs Jan-Lennard Struff (7) – Monfils leads H2H 2-0
Runner-up in Antwerp last year to Kyle Edmund, Monfils will be aiming to go one step further this week, but he will have to be operating at then peak of his powers just to make the final. The Frenchman has a bye in the opening round and could face rising teenage star Jannik Sinner in the second round, before a potential quarter-final showdown with Struff, who’s been having the best season of his career in 2019.
Struff opens against a qualifier and possibly runs into the unpredictable Frances Tiafoe in the second round. Both Monfils and Struff suffered early exits in Shanghai this past week, but there’s a great chance for each player to regain some momentum in Antwerp.
Predicted semi-finalist: Monfils
Projected quarter-final: Stan Wawrinka (4) vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (6) – Wawrinka leads H2H 5-3
Former top 10 stars Wawrinka and Tsonga headline the second quarter of he draw as they look to set up what would be an intriguing quarter-final showdown. Wawrinka is playing his first tournament since making the U.S. Open quarter-finals and awaits the winner of Feliciano Lopez and Cameron Norrie in his first match after an opening round bye, while Tsonga – the 2017 European Open champion – has flashy Italian Lorenzo Sonego in his first round, and if he wins that, would meet either home hope Steve Darcis or compatriot Gilles Simon for a spot in the quarter-finals.
Should they clash in the quarter-finals, Wawrinka holds a 5-3 record over Tsonga, including winning their last four matches dating back to 2013. Fresh after more than a month’s break, Wawrinka appears in good shape to reach the final four in Antwerp and build on his run to the U.S. Open quarter-finals.
Predicted semi-finalist: Wawrinka
Projected quarter-final: Diego Schwartzman (3) vs Pablo Cuevas (8) – Cuevas leads H2H 3-2
While South American grinders Schwartzman and Cuevas are the seeded players in this section of the draw, all eyes will be on former World No. 1 Andy Murray as he continues his promising comeback from hip surgery – and with the way he’s been playing and making progress over the last month, a first ATP title in over two years isn’t outside the realms of possibility.
Murray begins his campaign against Belgian wildcard Kimmer Coppejans and if he makes it through that, would take on the winner of Cuevas and Hugo Dellien for a place in the quarter-finals. Schwartzman, the third seed, is on course to face countryman Federico Delbonis in the second round after an opening round bye, and would most likely be Murray’s opponent in the last eight should the Scot continue to improve his level from week to week. All in all, this is a favourable section of the draw for Murray and I think he can advance to his first semi-final of the season.
Predicted semi-finalist: Murray
Projected quarter-final: David Goffin (2) vs Guido Pella (5) – Goffin leads H2H 4-1
Goffin is hoping to become the first homegrown champion in Antwerp this week and will certainly fancy his chances of reaching the semi-finals at the very least. Still in contention to grab one of the final two ATP Finals spots in London, Goffin has a bye in the first round and awaits the winner of Ugo Humbert and Jozef Kovalik for a place in the quarter-finals.
Meanwhile, Pella had a tremendous start to the season but comes into Antwerp on a three-match losing streak and appears to be losing steam towards the end of a long year. That means Peter Gojowczyk has a fantastic opportunity to knock off a seeded player in the first round, while inaugural Antwerp champion Richard Gasquet will also be sensing a chance to go deep at the European Open once again – if he can see off rising South Korean player Soonwoo Kwon in his opening round. It’s looking like a Goffin vs Gasquet quarter-final in my eyes – can the Belgian handle the pressure and expectation in front of his home fans?
Predicted semi-finalist: Goffin
Monfils vs Wawrinka
Murray vs Goffin
Wawrinka vs Murray
The 2019 European Open is live from Antwerp between October 14-20.