ATP Winston-Salem Open tournament preview

Winston-Salem hosts some of the biggest names on the tennis circuit with 16 players ranked inside the top 50. The ATP 250 tournament is headlined by 15th seed Richard Gasquet. It is the last event on the on the 2016 US Open Series and with the US Open a week away, the players will be looking to gain confidence ahead of the last Grand Slam of the year. 

First Quarter 

The first quarter is headlined by top seed Richard Gasquet. The Frenchman faces a bye in the opening round and could face Gastao Elias or Daniel Evans. The Brit has had a revival season coming from ranked 163 to number 60 in the rankings. He has endured some good victories of late including Alexandr Dolgopolov at Wimbledon and Grigor Dimitrov at the Citi Open and could prove a tough test for the 30-year-old who has been troubled by a back injury on and off since 2014. Also in his half is 13th seed Federico Delbonis who also receives a bye to the second round. He is guaranteed to face a Frenchman in the second round in Paul-Henri Mathieu and Stephane Robert. The Argentine has had an up and down year but does boast a title, having won at the Grand Prix Hassan II

In the bottom half of the section is 11th seed Paolo Lorenzi and eighth seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas. The Italian could meet American and home favourite Bjorn Fratangelo or Evgeny Donskoy. The 23-year-old has had a breakthrough year having recently broken into the top 100 as of June and could trouble the veteran. Albert Ramos-Vinolas could face either Australian John Millman or a qualifier. Before this year, the 27-year-old had struggled on tour. He reached a career high of number 60 in the world back in May and had two round three appearances including on the hard courts of Australian Open back at the start of the year. 

Quarterfinals: Federico Delbonis - John Millman 

Semifinalist: John Millman 

John Millman in action during the Olympics (Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
John Millman in action during the Olympics (Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Second Quarter

The second quarter is headlined by Pablo Cuevas. Also in his section is 16th seeded Pablo Carreno Busta. The Uruguayan faces either Turkish Malek Jaziri or a qualifier. Having never made a final of a hard court event, Cuevas will be looking to do so as the US Open nears ever closer. The Spaniard and final seed will open his account against either big serving Jan-Lennard Struff or experienced Andreas Seppi. The Italian has currently made three finals on this surface including a title at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, Russia back in 2012. He can provide a tough test for the Spaniard. 

Also in this section is defending champion and fifth seed Kevin Anderson and 12th seed Andrey Kuznetsov. The South African's season has been blighted by injury. He faces either Jiri Vesely or a qualifier. The Czech's only win has come in New Zealand at the Heineken Open in 2015. With a big serve and a big forehand, this will certainly be a tough match to call. The Russian who overtook Teymuraz Gabashvili will open up against wildcard Thanasi Kokkinakis or Mikhail Youzhny. The young Australian has struggled with injury this past season and recently came back at the Olympic Games, while Youzhny has been struggling to sustain the level of tennis which as seen him as high as number eight in the world. 

Quarterfinals: Andreas Seppi - Kevin Anderson

Semifinalist: Kevin Anderson 

Kevin Anderson during the BB&T Atlanta Open (Photo: Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Kevin Anderson during the BB&T Atlanta Open (Photo: Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Third Quarter

The third quarter doesn't involve any qualifiers but does have two wildcards placed in the section. American and sixth seed Sam Querrey headlines this section with Viktor Troicki in his half. The American faces either Damir Dzumhur or Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in the second round. The Bosnian fell in round one at the Olympic Games at the start of the month while Garcia-Lopez lost in the second round at the inaugural Los Cabos Open in Mexico. Viktor Troicki faces either Kyle Edmund or Rajeev Ram. Both competed at the Olympic Games with Ram coming away with a silver medal in the mixed doubles. 

15th seed Fernando Verdasco and fourth-seeded Steve Johnson make up this third section. The American has been on a high since the beginning of the grass season. Johnson won Nottingham, won a bronze medal at the Olympic games in the doubles and recently became USA's number one ranked male player ahead of John Isner. He faces either Victor Estrella Burgos or Lukas Rosol. Spaniard Verdasco is guaranteed to face an American in his opening match as ATP NextGen star Taylor Fritz plays another rising star in compatriot Francis Tiafoe

Quarterfinals: Sam Querrey - Fernando Verdasco 

Semifinalist: Fernando Verdasco

Fernando Verdasdco in action against Julien Benneteau at the BB&T Atlanta Open (Photo: Kevin C.Cox/Getty Images)
Fernando Verdasdco in action against Julien Benneteau at the BB&T Atlanta Open (Photo: Kevin C.Cox/Getty Images)

Fourth Quarter

Gilles Simon and Joao Sousa are in the top half of the fourth section. The Frenchman faces either Diego Schwartzman or Mikhail Kukushkin in his opening second round match. Also in this section is Yen-Hsun Lu or Illya Marchenko who faces tenth seed Joao Sousa in the second round. 14th seed Marcos Baghdatis is at the bottom of the quarter and faces the winner of American Donald Young or Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who made his breakthrough in singles at this tournament, losing to Kevin Anderson in last year's final. Second seed and wildcard Roberto Bautista Agut receives a bye and plays Aljaz Bedene or a qualifier. 

Quarterfinals: Gilles Simon - Pierre-Hugues Herbert

Semifinalist: Pierre-Hugues Herbert

Pierre-Hugues Herbert in doubles action at the Western & Southern Open (Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Pierre-Hugues Herbert in doubles action at the Western & Southern Open (Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Semifinals: Anderson def. Millman, Verdasco def. Herbert

Final: Verdasco def. Anderson

VAVEL Logo