TENNIS

Scouting Report: Rublev and Kyrgios headline Washington, Medvedev returns to Los Cabos | ATP circuit

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All of the action this week will take place on North American hard courts with an ATP 500 event in Washington and an ATP 250 in Los Cabos.

Andrey Rublev is the top seed at the Citi Open, where other players include 2019 champion Nick Kyrgios and former world No. 1 Andy Murray.. Daniil Medvedev, the current Pepperstone ATP ranked No. 1, returns to action at the Abierto de Tenis Mifel. ATPTour.com takes a look at what you should watch at each event.

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View Draws: Washington | Los Cabos

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR IN WASHINGTON
1) Seeded Rublev:
The number one seed in the United States capital, Rublev will be looking to claim his fourth ATP Tour title of the season. The 24-year-old, who has already triumphed in Marseille, Dubai and Belgrade this year, is no stranger to Washington. Rublev qualified for the ATP 500 semi-finals in 2018 at the age of 20. He will look to improve on his 32-11 season record when he takes on Britain’s #NextGenATP Jack Draper or US wild card Stefan Kozlov in the first round.

2) Fritz & Opelka lead the American charge: Pepperstone ATP’s top two Americans, Taylor Fritz and Reilly Opelka, lead a strong contingent from their country at the Citi Open, where they are ranked third and fourth, respectively. Fritz had the best season of his career, winning his first ATP Masters 1000 title at the BNP Paribas Open, and he is ninth in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Turin as he tries to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time. Opelka, champions in Dallas and Houston this year, could face compatriot and close friend Tommy Paul, seeded 14th, in the third round.

Other Americans to watch include 13th seed Maxime Cressy, Newport’s recent titlist, who is seeded to face Rublev in the third round. Frances Tiafoe, who will have local support as he hails from neighboring Maryland, is the 10th seed.

3) Come back for more: One of the best streaks of Kyrgios’ career came in 2019 at the Citi Open, where he defeated Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas in back-to-back matches to win his second ATP 500 trophy. Reaching the Wimbledon final – he withdrew from singles in Atlanta with a left knee injury – Kyrgios will look to emerge victorious again in Washington. The Australian will face American Marcos Giron, with the winner meeting Paul in the second round.

4) Murray running: At the start of the season, Murray was No. 134 in Pepperstone’s ATP rankings. On Monday, he will be world number 50 and eager to climb higher with a strong performance in Washington. The former world number one is 7-2 at the Citi Open, where he made the final in 2006 and reached the quarter-finals in 2018, his last appearance. Murray, who made the finals this year in Sydney and Stuttgart, will face Sweden’s Mikael Ymer in the first round, with the winner taking on 15th seed Aslan Karatsev.

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Photo credit: Richard Kessler/Citi Open
5) Double star field: The Washington doubles table seeds are Rajeev Ram and Horacio Zeballos, who will play together for the second time after losing in the first round at Roland Garros in 2015. No. 1s Juan Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah, No. 1 end of year 2016 Jamie Murray/Bruno Soares, Nick Kyrgios/Jack Sock and Nicolas Mahut/Edouard Roger-Vasselin. No. 2 seeds Wesley Koolhof and Neal Skupski have won five titles together this year and top the Pepperstone ATP Double Team Rankings.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR IN LOS CABOS
1) Medvedev back in action: World number one Medvedev will compete for the first time since June in Mallorca when he travels to the ground in Los Cabos, where he is making his debut. The 26-year-old will be looking to claim his first ATP Tour title of the season after already reaching three finals, including one at the Australian Open. Medvedev will be happy to be back on the hard courts, where he has won 12 of his 13 tour-level trophies. He opens his tournament in Mexico against wild card Rodrigo Pacheco Mendez or a qualifier.

2) Felix ranked second: Medvedev is not the only player in the Top 10 of the draw, as Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime is ranked second. Another rookie, Auger-Aliassime will look to snap a three-game losing streak when he faces Australian John Millman or Mexican joker Alex Hernandez in the second round. The 21-year-old has shown great consistency this year, reaching nine quarter-finals and helping his country lift the ATP Cup trophy in January.

3) Defending Champion Norrie: Cameron Norrie has taken the ATP Tour by storm over the past year, and it all started in Los Cabos. In 2021, the British southpaw started his week at ATP 250 without a title to his name. After winning the trophy, he won an ATP Masters 1000 crown in Indian Wells, made the Nitto ATP Finals, cracked the Top 10 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in April and made his first major semi-final at Wimbledon. Norrie returns to Los Cabos to defend his third-seeded title. He will face #NextGenATP Chun-hsin Tseng or a second-round qualifier.

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Photo credit: Abierto Los Cabos
4) The rise of Nakashima: #NextGenATP American Brandon Nakashima qualified for his first tour-level championship match in Los Cabos last year and will look for his first crown at the same event this week. The 20-year-old, who turns 21 on Wednesday, is eighth in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Milan and is trying to qualify for the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals for the second year in a row. Nakashima, seeded sixth in Los Cabos, will play a first-round qualifier.

5) Wimbledon Champs Headline Double Field: Australians Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell headline Los Cabos’ doubles draw in their second tournament together since winning Wimbledon. The second seeds will look to bounce back from a quarter-final loss in Atlanta to compatriots Jason Kubler and John Peers. The top seeds in Los Cabos are Santiago Gonzalez and Andres Molteni, who have won four ATP Tour titles together in the past 10 months.

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