ATP Aircel Chennai Open preview

With the new season underway, the players begin their journey to success, starting at the Aircel Chennai Open which has become a traditional season opener alongside Brisbane and Doha.  

Tournament Overview

The Aircel Chennai Open features a 28 players field with the top four seeds receiving a bye into the second round. This year's tournament features six players ranked inside the world's top 50. The defending champion and three-time winner Stan Wawrinka will not be present in India, meaning that Marin Cilic is the only top ten player and that we will see a new winner. The ATP World Tour 250 event, first held in 1996, has built a strong legacy for being a “Springboard of Champions”, with former winners including former World Number one's Pat Rafter and Carlos Moya

First Quarter

Marin Cilic headlines the first quarter. The Croatian's second round opponent will be between a qualifier or Gastao Elias. Cilic should have no problems progressing to the quarterfinal. Also in his quarter is two up and coming players, who face each other in the opening round in Thiago Monteiro and Daniil Medvedev. The Brazilian burst onto the scene last year at the Rio Open when he defeated Jo-Wilfried Tsonga ranked outside the world's top 300 at the time.

The Russian Medvedev defeated Horacio Zeballos in s-Hertogenbosch to gain his first win. Also in this quarter is Radu Albot and eighth seed Yen-Hsun Lu. The 33-year-old is currently the only man from Taipei to break into the world's top 100 and has been as high as number 33 back in 2010 and is capable of putting on some good performances having made a Grand Slam quarterfinal in the past. 

Quarterfinal: Marin Cilic-Daniil Medvedev

Semifinalist: Marin Cilic

Marin Cilic during thew Davis Cup final (Photo: Cezaro de Luca/ Getty Images)
Marin Cilic during thew Davis Cup final (Photo: Cezaro de Luca/ Getty Images)

Second Quarter

The second quarter is headlined by number three seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas. With a bye into the second round, he has a kind second round draw with a qualifier or Steve Darcis awaiting. Damir Dzumhur and Dudi Sela face each other in the first round and that match could go either way as both players fail with consistency on a daily basis. Finishing off the quarter is the sixth seed and one of the most exciting prospects on the tour Borna Coric.

In last year's competition, he made it all the way to the final, losing out to Stan Wawrinka. The young Croat at 19-year-old has wins over Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray and can trouble anybody when on top form. The Spaniard and Croat should progress to the quarterfinals, where it could be a tasty affair. It'll be hard to call a winner if both players come out striking the ball with intent, however, Coric has the slight edge. 

Quarterfinal: Albert Ramos-Vinolas-Borna Coric

Semifinalist: Borna Coric

Borna Coric in action at the Western and Southern Open (Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Borna Coric in action at the Western and Southern Open (Photo: Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Third Quarter

Fifth seed Benoit Paire headlines this third section of the draw. He kicks off his 2017 season with a meeting against Konstantin Kravchuk. The Frenchman has been given a kind draw this time around with his second round opponent potentially being either India's hopeful wildcard Ramkumar Ramanathan or a qualifier. The 22-year-old made it to the quarterfinals in last year's tournament defeating experienced players Daniel Gimeno-Traver and Andrey Kuznetsov before losing in the third set to Brit Aljaz Bedene.

There is no reason Ramanathan can cause an upset this year, that is if the crowd back their man all the way. Fourth Seed Martin Klizan has a bye in this quarter but could be up against a tricky opponent in the second round as Aljaz Bedene takes on Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. Ever since Klizan's win in Rotterdam last year, he has struggled to recreate that form and has been inconsistent and if that same Klizan turns up, he could well find himself out early on. 

Quarterfinal: Benoit Paire-Aljaz Bedene

Semifinalist: Benoit Paire

Benoit Paire striking the ball at the Antwerp Open (Photo: Pupo/Getty Images)
Benoit Paire striking the ball at the Antwerp Open (Photo: Pupo/Getty Images)

Fourth Quarter

Second seed Roberto Bautista Agut headlines the fourth and last quarter. He has a bye into the second round where he will face Rogerio Dutra Silva or Dusan Lajovic. Also in this section is Renzo Olivo and wildcard 18-year-old Casper Ruud. The Norweigan will be making only his second main draw appearance on the ATP Circuit. He started the 2016 season ranked as the number one junior player, the first from his country to do so.

Ruud also won the ATP Challenger event in Copa Sevilla in his maiden attempt, becoming the fourth youngest ever player to do so. He will be hoping to start his year with a bang but could find it tougher than expected. Another wildcard Saketh Myneni faces the experienced and former top tenner Mikhail Youzhny in his opening match. The Russian has been a downfall for a number of years but still provides a tough test for anyone and Myneni could be going home early depending on which Youzhny turns up. 

Quarterfinal: Mikhail Youzhny-Roberto Bautista Agut 

Semifinalist: Roberto Bautista Agut

Roberto Bautista Agut during the Shangahi Rolex Masters final (Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
Roberto Bautista Agut during the Shanghai Rolex Masters final (Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Semifinals: Marin Cilic def. Borna Coric, Roberto Bautista Agut def. Benoit Paire

Finals: Marin Cilic def. Roberto Bautista Agut