2017 Ricoh Open Men’s Sleeper Picks and Predictions
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At 33 years of age, with 15 years of pro experience on the sport, Andreas Seppi is one of the event’s elder statesmen. It’s actually one of the reasons why he should be considered a worthy dark horse pick – that edge in experience against the competition can be simply dangerous.
Though only 47-35 all-time on grass and listed at the 76th spot in the rankings, keep in mind that he has some rhythm coming in. Along with winning seven of his last 10 matches on grass, two of which had him shutting out the opponent in the final set, he’s a decent 3-3 versus upcoming foe no. 28 Giles Muller.
World no. 88 Jordan Thompson is next on the list. He’s a modest 17-10 on grass in the last three years, but has shown some improvement in the past year. In his most recent tournament on such surface (Surbiton Challenger), he had a good run and raced through the title game, where he gave Yuichi Sugita a good fight before coming up short. All of his victories prior to the round were all in straight sets.
Adrian Mannarino is similar to Jordan Thompson in terms of momentum, who’s coincidentally his opponent for the Round of 32s. The no. 62 Mannarino is 16-10 on grass since 2015 (eight of the 16 were via straight set), and has advanced to at least the third round in six grass-held tournaments in that span.
Aged 33, he joins Andreas Seppi as one of the older guys in the tourney, although he came earlier to the pros by a year.
Momentum is among the most important trends to follow when looking for good sleepers, and no one in the second/third-tier players at the Ricoh Open has it better than Yen-Hsun Lun. The 16-year vet only has a .535 winning percentage on grass in his career, but has come alive in the past two years, compiling a 15-2 win-loss card and appearing in three title rounds (won two).
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