This afternoon it was time to know the singles and doubles draw of the Millennium Estoril Open. The top seeds in the singles draw are Pablo Carreno Busta and Richard Gasquet. The Spaniard is ranked 20th on ATP and the French is ranked 23rd. The best-ranked team in the doubles draw is Sam Groth/Robert Lindstedt followed by Wesley Koolhof/Matwe Middelkoop.
On the top quarter of the draw are placed the first and the eighth seeds, Pablo Carreno Busta and Benoit Paire, respectively. Carreno Busta made the final here in Estoril last year, losing to Nicolas Almagro. The Spanish is having a good start of the clay season, he lost in the third round of Monte Carlo Rolex Masters to Novak Djokovic in three sets and reached the third round in Barcelona too. This season he already made semifinals in Indian Wells, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires and reached the final in Rio de Janeiro.
Benoit Paire has a win-loss record of 18-13 this season. The highlights of his season are the semifinals in Chennai, Montpellier and Marrakech. Paire can be a very tricky opponent and he reached the semifinals here in Estoril in 2016. He will battle against Nicolas Almagro, tournament defending champion, in one of the most wanted matches of the event.
This part of the draw is very strong. Tommy Robredo, a former ATP top-5 and Evgeny Donskoy, the only player to defeat Roger Federer this year, will face each other to see who plays Pablo Carreno Busta in the second round. Gastão Elias and Malek Jaziri are going to fight for a place in the second round. The winner of this match can face either Paire or Almagro.
Prediction: Pablo Carreno Busta defeats Benoit Paire
The second quarter of the draw is led by David Ferrer, former world number 3 and 2013 Roland Garros finalist. The currently ranked 32nd on ATP has a lot of experience on clay courts and it's one of the favourites to win the title. He can face Frederico Ferreira Silva or Denis Istomin, who defeated Novak Djokovic in this year's Australian Open.
The other seed on the second quarter is Juan Martin del Potro. The 2016 Olympic Games finalist is the fifth seed and plays Yuichi Sugita in the first round. It's a very tough first round as the Japanese reached the quarterfinals in Barcelona last week, defeating Tommy Robredo, Richard Gasquet and Pablo Carreno Busta. If the Argentine can make it through in the first round he can reach the semifinals.
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez is facing Ryan Harrison for a place in the second round and a chance to face del Potro or Sugita.
Prediction: Juan Martin del Potro defeats David Ferrer
Gilles Muller is the highest ranked player in this section of the draw. He can face either Pedro Sousa or Paul-Henri Mathieu in the second round. The ATP ranked 28th has a win-loss record of 12-8 this season and made Andy Murray fight hard in Monte Carlo second round.
João Sousa is the sixth seed and is facing a qualifier in the opening round. Taro Daniel and Renzo Olivo are going to play for a chance to face Sousa or a qualifier. Pedro Sousa and Paul-Henri Mathieu never faced each other before but the Portuguese player is playing the final of an ATP Challenger Tour tournament this Sunday. The Frenchman is on a three-match losing streak.
Prediction: João Sousa defeats Gilles Muller
The last quarter of the draw is headed by Richard Gasquet, Millennium Estoril Open's first champion two years ago. The 23rd ranked on ATP can face or a qualifier or Carlos Berlocq, the last champion of Portugal Open, the previous ATP 250 tournament held in Portugal.
Kyle Edmund waits for a qualifier to play his first round match as the seventh seed. The British player was the only one to steal a set from Rafael Nadal on his route to Monte Carlo Rolex Masters title. Kevin Anderson plays a qualifier too.
Prediction: Kyle Edmund defeats Richard Gasquet
Semifinals: Juan Martin del Potro defeats Pablo Carreno Busta and Kyle Edmund defeats João Sousa
Juan Martin del Potro is a two-time champion in Portugal, not in this tournament but in the previous one, and Kyle Edmund has not played an ATP World Tour final before. The experience of the older player is going to be critical to deciding who takes the winner title home. Both players play very well on clay courts but one is more experienced than the other.
Final: Juan Martin del Potro defeats Kyle Edmund