ATP Istanbul: TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open Preview

Top two seeds Bernard Tomic and Grigor Dimitrov headline a solid field at the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open, as the top ATP World Tour players battle it out in preparation for the red clay of Roland Garros in only a months time. Defending champion Roger Federer and last year's finalist Pablo Cuevas will not be in attendance in the Turkish capital, as both look to rest up for the upcoming French Open.

ATP Istanbul tournament overview

Istanbul plays host to the second ever TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open, with the famous border city between Europe and Asia hosting Turkey's only tennis tournament, and one of the few in the middle east.

Played at the incredible Koza World of Sports facility, the TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open serves as a crucial stop on the Road to Roland Garros, as ATP World Tour stars look to hone their clay court games before the year's second major. In the inaugural edition of the event last year, 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer claimed the title with a 6-3, 7-6 finals victory over Urugian Pablo Cuevas.

First quarter

The first quarter is headlined by top seeded Australian Bernard Tomic along with seventh seeded Russian Teymuraz Gabashvilli. Tomic opens up against an Argentine, either Facundo Bagnis or Diego Schwartzman. On the other hand, Gabashvilli has no luxury of a first round bye, instead facing red-hot Bosnian Damir Dzhumhur in the opening round. Expect an in-form Dzhumhur to upset the Russian, before falling to Tomic in the quarterfinals, sending the Aussie to the last four.

Semifinalist: Tomic 

Bernard Tomic hits a forehand at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells/Getty Images
Bernard Tomic hits a forehand at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells/Getty Images

Second quarter

The second quarter is lead by Argentine dirt-baller Federico Delbonis, and by eighth seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas. The fourth seeded Argentine has a bye in the opening round, before facing either a qualifier or Israeli Dudi Sela, in what could be a very difficult match for the Argentine. For Ramos-Vinolas, the Spanish veteran opens against Frenchmen Adrian Mannarino, before a potential last eight meeting with Delbonis. Expect some surprise results in this fairly wide open quarter, with Brit Aljaz Bedene reaching the last four courtesy of beating Sela in the quarters. 

Semifinalist: Bedene 

Aljaz Bedene strikes a backhand at the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters/Getty Images
Aljaz Bedene strikes a backhand at the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters/Getty Images

Third quarter

The third quarter is headlined by six foot eleven giant Ivo Karlovic and fifth seeded Spaniard Marcel Granollers. Karlovic, who has suffered a horrendous 0-6 start to 2016, opens against either a qualifier or young Serbian Dusan Lajovic.

For Granollers, the Spanish veteran faces local Turkish wildcard Cem Ilkel, before a potential second round meeting with star-of-tomorrow Hyeon Chung. Expect Karlovic to suffer another opening match loss and for veteran Granollers to take advantage and reach the last four in Istanbul.

Semifinalist: Granollers 

Marcel Granollers slides into a backhand at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell/Getty Images
Marcel Granollers slides into a backhand at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell/Getty Images

Fourth quarter

The final section is headlined by 2014 Wimbledon semifinalist Grigor Dimitrov and sixth seeded Czech Jiri Vesely. Dimitrov opens up against either a qualifier or Serb Filip Krajinovic. For the big-hitting lefty, who recently destroyed world number one Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo, Vesely will face Deutchmen Thiemo De Bakker in the first round, before a potential quarterfinal clash with Dimitrov.

Expect both Dimitrov and Vesely to make it through safely to a dream quarterfinal, where the Bulgarian's talent sees off the big strokes of Vesely to reach the semifinals in the Turkish capital. 

Semifinalist: Dimitrov 

Grigor Dimitrov slides into a backhand at the 2015 TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open/Getty Images
Grigor Dimitrov slides into a backhand at the 2015 TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open/Getty Images

Predictions:

Semifinals: Bedene def. Tomic, Dimitrov def. Granollers

Final: Dimitrov def. Bedene

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