Nadal Heads Hot Rio Field; ATP Marseille, Delray Previews
by Staff | February 14th, 2015, 9:42 pm

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Surface: clay

Seeds: Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Tommy Robredo, Fabio Fognini, Leonardo Mayer, Pablo Cuevas, Santiago Giraldo, Martin Klizan
Floaters: Nicolas Almagro, Juan Monaco

Notes: The 2nd edition of the ATP 500 tournament pulls in Top 10ers Nadal and Ferrer of Spain…Nadal beat Alexandr Dolgopolov in last year’s inaugural final…Openers of note are (1) Nadal vs. Brazil’s Thomaz Bellucci, (6) Cuevas vs. Almagro, and (7) Giraldo vs. Monaco…Wildcards were awarded to Brazil’s Guilherme Clezar, Joao Souza and Swede Elias Ymer…Ferrer will start against a qualifier, with all four qualifiers in his half of the draw…Rafa says he is healthy and has commented on the brutal heat and humidity in Rio, which is scheduled to continue through the week.

Marseille, France; Surface: indoor hard

Seeds: Milos Raonic, Stan Wawrinka, Ernests Gulbis, Roberto Bautista Agut, Gilles Simon, David Goffin, Gael Monfils, Lukas Rosol

Floaters: Vasek “Popsicle” Pospisil, Sergiy Stakhovsky, Paul-Henri Mathieu, Benoit Paire

Notes: The Top 4 seeds receive opening-round byes…Tough starts for (4) Bautista Agut likely vs. the big indoor game of Popsicle, (8) Rosil against the all-courter Stakhovsky, and (2) Wawrinka opening against a homecountry fan favorite in either Mathieu or Paire…Two Tops 10ers in the field in Raonic and Wawrinka…Ernests Gulbis, with an 0-3 win-loss record thus far in 2015, defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in last year’s final…Only two of the eight seeds have winning career records in Marseille…Wildcards went to Croat Borna Coric and Frenchmen Gael Monfils and Paire…Some of the bigger names pulling from the event were Richard Gasquet, Nick Kyrgios (back) and Gilles Muller…Returning champs in the field are Gulbis (2014) and Simon (2007).

Delray Beach, Fla., USA; Surface: hard

Seeds: Kevin Anderson, John Isner, Alexandr Dolgopolov, Ivo Karlovic, Adrian Mannarino, Sam Querrey, Steve Johnson, Viktor Troicki

Floaters: “Smokin'” Dustin Brown, “The” Donald Young

Notes: No Top 10ers in the field…The aging (4) “Dr.” Ivo Karovic could be tested in his opener against the dreadlocked upset specialist Brown, and the red-hot Young could meet (6) Querrey in the second round…Wildcards went to Russian Andrey Rublev and Americans Denis Kudla and Stefan Kozlov…Notable pulls from the tournament were former US Open champs Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro, Jack Sock and Radek “The Worm” Stepanek…Cilic beat the part-time Delray resident Anderson in last year’s final…The three-time and defending champ Bryan brothers are the top seeds in doubles…Anderson (2012) is the lone returning former champ in the field.


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18 Comments for Nadal Heads Hot Rio Field; ATP Marseille, Delray Previews

Giles Says:

Good luck Rafa!
Vamos Champ!

Hippy Chick Says:

Looks like a good field in all the tournies,but so looking forward to watching Rafa on clay again,people might laugh at me and personally i dont give a damn,but i love watching the way Rafas feet move and dance from side to side,like Najinsky on clay,twinkle toes….

Okiegal Says:


Federer the ballet dancer……Rafa does the Cha Cha and the Salsa! :)

Hippy Chick Says:

Okiegal lol nice one,Feds Najinsky,Rafas like Fred Astair on clay :)….

sienna Says:

big field. Not. Only two top ten players.
the 250 tourneysRoger playes are far more loaded then this.

how on earth is this 500series?

Hippy Chick Says:

^Although im ready for the sarcastic comments^….

Humble Rafa Says:

the 250 tourneysRoger playes are far more loaded then this

Humble people don’t need loaded fields.

Wog Boy Says:

AO wasn’t loaded either. Nole got lucky..Cilic wasn’t playing..

metan Says:

Good luck Rafa,!!

Agree with you Alison.😄

Okiegal Says:

@Wog Boy 5:35…….Bwahaaa! Loved your brilliant deduction!! :) You so crezy. I’m sure you gained some brownie points with you know who!!

sienna Says:

We will see team rafa resort to this kind of scheduling more and more.
they need to up %winnings.
they need to bump the numbers. Says:

Decidedly not a hot field. Rafa and Ferrer. The return of Rafa is of course interesting, but its not like its his first tournament back. Its his second re-launch, on clay. I do expect him to gain traction here. I would bet on him over Ferrer for sure, but I don’t think its a lock, just given recent form. I don’t think anyone else here has a chance against Rafa.

Marseilles field is far more interesting. Would be extremely interesting if Wawrinka wins, but I don’t think he can do two in a row. Unfortunately. Would love to see Raonic get hot and get his name back in the mix.

Hippy Chick Says:

Disagree TV Ferrer and Almagro both beat Rafa on clay last year,Klizan also beat him,every Tom,Dick and Harry beat him last year,his form hasnt been great for a while now,so i think the other players will sense they have an oppotunity,agree about the rest though…. Says:

Good point about Almagro Hippy, but I don’t think that lightning will strike twice. Its a field Rafa would normally dominate, but you’re right, in the past few years he’s had a number of inexplicable losses. Anything can happen, and I guess I understand as a Rafa fan feeling nervous. Still, ts not a field we’d normally consider strong, with the exception of Rafa and Ferrer.
I think if Rafa starts to get into his normal clay form, we could be in for a slobbernocker clay spring between the Clay Beast and #1.

wilfried Says:

[Rio’s is not exactly a field we’d normally consider strong with the exception of Rafa and Ferrer].
Indeed, Nadal is not exactly heading a ‘hot’ field if you compare it with the Rotterdam field last week, where 4 of the current top 10 players were competing for the title, and 3 out of 4 reached the semi-finals of that event.
But you can’t blame Nadal for the quality of the field.
Wise scheduling I’d call it.

Hippy Chick Says:

TV im not particulaly confident about his chances anymore these days to be honest….

FedExpress Says:

its official. fed will play istanbul before madrid

why doesnt he play in stuttgart after the french. after all its on grass and he could do with some grass titles

RZ Says:

I’m back to my thinking that Rafa will win Rio or one of his next two or three tournaments. He shouldn’t have an issue in Rio, although I wouldn’t be shocked to see Ferrer or maybe Robredo (less confident since this is clay and not a hard court) get the better of him. Almagro has been out too long with injury to have the goods to beat him again, and I don’t see the others having much of a shot on clay.

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