There will be two ATP 500s this week: the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC and the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Thirteen of the Top 20 players in the FedEx ATP Rankings are set to compete.
Stefanos Tsitsipas leads the way in Acapulco, and Dominic Thiem will try to lift the trophy in Dubai. ATPTour.com looks at 10 things to watch at the two events.
VIEW DRAWS: ACAPULCO | DUBAI
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN ACAPULCO
1) Stefanos The Top Seed: Tsitsipas will make his tournament debut at this ATP 500. The Greek star is off to a strong 10-3 start to 2021, including a run to the Australian Open semi-finals. Tsitsipas will begin his run against Frenchman Benoit Paire, against whom he owns a 1-1 ATP Head2Head record.
2) Zverev Returns To Acapulco: Alexander Zverev has more experience in Acapulco, where he reached the final in 2019 (l. to Kyrgios). The German is 8-3 at this tournament and he will try to improve on that record when he plays Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz in the first round.
3) Canadians In Mexico: Canadian stars Felix Auger-Aliassime and Milos Raonic will try to make a splash in Acapulco. Auger-Aliassime is making his second appearance at the ATP 500 and Raonic will make his debut.
4) #NextGenATP In The Spotlight: Auger-Aliassime isn’t the only #NextGenATP player in the draw. Wild cards Alcaraz, a 17-year-old, and Sebastian Korda, a 20-year-old, will try to show their games on this big stage. Alcaraz qualified for this year’s Australian Open and reached the second round, while Korda made the final two months ago in Delray Beach.
5) Singles Stars Playing Doubles: Some of the top doubles teams in the world are competing in Acapulco, including Marcel Granollers/Horacio Zeballos and Jamie Murray/Bruno Soares. There are also singles stars playing this doubles event, including Alexander Zverev (w/Mischa Zverev), Diego Schwartzman (w/Joao Sousa), Felix Auger-Aliassime/Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov/Tommy Paul.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN DUBAI
1) Thiem Time: World No. 4 Thiem will try to win his first ATP Tour title of the season. This will be the Austrian’s second appearance in Dubai, where he competed in 2015. The top seed has lifted 17 tour-level titles, five of which have come at an ATP 500. Thiem will play a qualifier or lucky loser in his opener.
2) Rublev Rolling: Few players on the ATP Tour are as hot as Andrey Rublev. The Russian led the Tour in 2020 with five titles, and he has maintained his momentum by beginning this year with a 13-2 record. The 23-year-old has won the past four ATP 500s he has played, and he will try to make it five in a row in Dubai.
3) In-Form RBA: Roberto Bautista Agut will try to maintain his good form after reaching the final in Doha. The fourth seed, who won the Dubai title in 2018, will play Marseille semi-finalist Matthew Ebden in his opener.
4) Young Stars Going For Glory: There is no shortage of young stars competing in this ATP 500. Nine Next Gen ATP Finals alumni will try to lift the trophy, including 2019 Milan champion Jannik Sinner, third seed Denis Shapovalov and Rublev.
5) Stacked Doubles Field: Everywhere you look in the Dubai doubles draw, there is a dangerous team. The top seeds are Juan Sebastian Cabal/Robert Farah and the second seeds are Nikola Mektic/Mate Pavic. Reigning Australian Open champions Ivan Dodig/Filip Polasek are in the field as are new 2021 tandems Wesley Koolhof/Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo/Jean-Julien Rojer.