Erste Bank Open: ATP Vienna preview

The indoor hard swing comes to Erste Bank Open in Vienna. The draw includes three top 10 players, nine top 20 players, and 22 top 50 players with the ATP World Tour Final places all to play for.

Erste Bank Open: ATP Vienna preview
Last year's winner David Ferrer (Photo: ErsteBankOpen)

With the indoor hard court swing continuing, it comes back to Europe following the Asian swing. This week the action will take place in Erste Bank Open, Vienna, one of two ATP 500 events taking place, the other being in Basel. Five former winners enter the draw: Feliciano Lopez, two-time champion Jurgen Melzer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Andy Murray and 2015 winner David Ferrer.  

First Quarter

With the end of the Asian swing, Andy Murray comes back having not dropped a set nor has he lost a match, winning back-to-back titles in Beijing and Shanghai going on a 10-match unbeaten streak and claiming 1500 points. As the top seed, he goes up against Martin Klizan, who has struggled for form ever since winning the ATP 500-level event in Rotterdam in February. The winner of this match will face either Guillermo Garcia-Lopez or Gilles Simon

This section also includes seventh seed Lucas Pouille, who has had a breakthrough season making the quarterfinal at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open, winning his maiden ATP title in Metz last month and also breaking into the world's top 20. He has a tricky match against former champion Feliciano Lopez. The winner faces the struggling John Isner or a qualifier. Murray is expected to make the quarterfinals, with the other still to play for. 

Quarterfinal: Andy Murray - Lucas Pouille

Semifinalist: Andy Murray 

Ady Murray with the Vienna trophy in 2014 (Photo: ErsteBankOpen)
Ady Murray with the Vienna trophy in 2014 (Photo: ErsteBankOpen)

Second Quarter

This quarter includes two homegrown players. Dominic Thiem has had a stellar year winning four titles, making his first Grand Slam semifinal and breaking into the world's top 10. He faces the other Austrian Gerald Melzer, who received a wildcard to be here. The winner of that match will face Kevin Anderson or Viktor Troicki, who comes off the back of a great victory against Rafael Nadal in Shanghai. Also in this section is the fifth seed and last year's champion David Ferrer.

The Spaniard dropped out of the top 10 this year and has had injury troubles, but still poses a threat and will be looking to defend his title. He goes up against Kyle Edmund in a rematch of the second round match at the inaugural Antwerp Open. The winner of that will play Joao Sousa or Pablo Cuevas in the second round. This quarter appears to be the most open with no players building any real form going into this tournament. 

Quarterfinal: Dominic Thiem - David Ferrer

Semifinalist: David Ferrer

David Ferrer in action at the Shanghai Rolex Masters (Photo: Kevin Lee/Getty Images)
David Ferrer in action at the Shanghai Rolex Masters (Photo: Kevin Lee/Getty Images)

Third Quarter 

Former 2011 Vienna Open champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga headlines the third section. He opens up against a qualifier and will face either fellow Frenchman Stephane Robert or German Philipp Kohlschreiber, who both lost at the semifinal stage in Moscow this week. Fourth seed Roberto Bautista Agut is also in this section. The Spaniard enters the draw having made his best run at a Masters event, reaching the Shanghai final and defeating Novak Djokovic on the way. 

He opens up against the former two-time champion Jurgen Melzer, who received one of the three main draw wildcards. A second round match will be against either Fabio Fognini or Albert Ramos-Vinolas. The Italian will contest the Moscow final and will likely come in fatigued, giving the Spaniard the slight edge. The other Spaniard, Bautista Agut, will likely be the only threat to Tsonga and should they both come through they will meet in the quarterfinals.  

Quarterfinal: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - Roberto Bautista Agut 

Semifinalist: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga winning Vienna in 2011 (Photo: Samuel Kubani/Getty Images)
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga winning Vienna in 2011 (Photo: Samuel Kubani/Getty Images)

Fourth Quarter

With the ATP World Tour Finals less than a month away, players will be hoping to make a run into the latter stages of tournaments. For Tomas Berdych sitting in ninth, he will be hoping Thiem doesn't make significant strides. The second seed at the bottom of the draw will face a qualifier to open up. Having been given a kind draw, the Czech will go up against either Andreas Seppi or wildcard Karen Khachanov

The Russian made a name for himself at the Asian swing, winning the inaugural Chengdu Open and entering the world's top 60. Eighth seed Ivo Karlovic is the oldest player in the draw at 37. He faces Steve Johnson, whose second half of the season has seen him reach a career high of 21. He will be hoping to end the 2016 season on a high and the winner faces Nicolas Almagro or a qualifier. The Czech will need to put a run together, so don't be surprised to see him go all the way. 

Quarterfinal: Nicolas Almagro - Tomas Berdych

Semifinalist: Tomas Berdych 

Tomas Berdych during the St.Petersburg Open (Photo: NurPhoto)
Tomas Berdych during the St.Petersburg Open (Photo: NurPhoto)

Semifinals: Murray def. Ferrer, Berdych def. Tsonga

Final: Murray def. Berdych