Adrian Mannarino will be able to sleep soundly on Sunday night, the eve the Astana Grand Prix. He is one those tennis players who doesn’t dwell on the things directly in front of them.
The 34-year old said that he didn’t want to discuss the draw, who I’m facing, or any other details because he wasn’t watching. “What is the quality of this tournament?” “I don’t know anything.”
It’s likely that Mannarino is unaware that he will be playing three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka in the first match of the tournament (12 noon local time). The National Tennis Center’s center court.
You know more about him than he does at this stage. Mannarino just lost in the first round to Constant Lestienne, his compatriot. The good news is? The good news? He beat Wawrinka in their only match in the second round at the 2015 Miami Open hosted in Itau. They were victorious in two tight tiebreaks.
This match will be one of six singles rounds with three seeded participants.
Hubert Hurkacz, seventh seed, will play Francisco Cerundolo after the opening game. The night session begins at 6pm local with Felix AugerAliassime, eighth seed, against Roberto Bautista Agut. This is arguably the best match-up in the first round. The nightcap will feature fifth seeded Andrey Rublev versus qualifier Laslo Dajere.
Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek vs. the Kazakhstani wildcard team, Grigoriy Lomakin & Denis Yevseyev was the only match in doubles.
Court 1’s first game today features Botic Van der Zandschulp against Beibit Zhukayev, a wildcard from Kazakhstan.
Van de Zandschulp’s fascinating backstory is fascinating. This year, he has played 58 tour games – compared to 27 previously.
Although the Dutchman, 26, is currently at number 35 in the rankings, he was required to qualify for each of the four Grand Slam events a year ago. He qualified for the main tournament at the Australian Open and Roland Garros with a record 11-1. He was a lucky loser, and he ended up in the Wimbledon field.
The Dutchman was the third male qualifier at the US Open last year. He faced Daniil Medvedev, the eventual champion, and was the only one to win a set. He was the number one player in the Netherlands at the end of the season and has adapted well to his first full season on TBEN.
Van de Zandschulp said in an interview, “Yes, I think that I did a great job.” It was quite difficult playing Cincinnati and Montreal first time. There were four games. I didn’t feel ashamed to lose [Cam] Norrie and [Daniil] Medvedev.
“Winston Salem”, [semifinals], was good. I am still trying to find the right plan for me. It will have ups, downs, but hopefully it will be able to last until the end.
The Dutchman will play Astana in the quarter-finals of the Davis Cup. He is scheduled to travel to Antwerp and Basel, as well as Paris. After a “little vacation”, there is still much to do in Australia. The Netherlands will be playing in the quarter-finals in November of the Davis Cup. Van de Zandschulp and his team won Group D in Glasgow, Scotland.
He said that this season has been a learning experience. It was hard to manage his schedule with so many tournaments available. Prior to playing Challengers, his travels were limited to Europe. He did however make two major trips to Australia, and the United States. It was difficult to travel more while playing fewer matches against better opponents.
Van de Zandschulp: “You can learn a lot by the experience.” I want to finish strong and make it into the Top 30 at year’s end – seeded here in Australia. This is my ultimate goal for the year.
He understands Astana better than Mannarino. Novak Djokovic, 21-time Grand Slam champion, can sit out the second round if he beats Zhukayev.
The Dutch star said that Novak was the most difficult player in the draw. “I have never played against him, and I hope I can if he wins my first game. It’s a great opportunity and I look forward to it.
“It’s always fun playing someone for the first-time, especially him.”