ATP Los Angeles Preview

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QuerreyThe Farmer’s Classic, set in Hollywood, will give a player the chance to write their name amongst the stars. Former winners of this tournament include Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras and Boris Becker. While the Olympics means that the field is weaker than usual, there are still plenty of quality players challenging for this title.
The favourite is the two-time champion, Sam Querrey. He won the title here in both 2009 and 2010, beating Carsten Ball and Andy Murray in the two finals. However, after injury problems, he is without a title since that second success, but will be hoping for a change of fortune here (9/4 Sam Querrey to win ATP Los Angeles). As the second seed, he receives a bye through to the second round where he meets the winner of Igor Sijsling or Steve Johnson.

Frenchman, Benoit Paire, is the top seed. A wonderfully gifted shot-maker, he reached the final in Belgrade earlier in the season before pushing David Ferrer in the semis at s-Hertogenbosch (8/1 Benoit Paire to win ATP Los Angeles). The main question is whether he can convert his form from the clay and grass onto the hard courts where he has struggled in the past. He will face either Michael Russell or Jesse Levine in his first match in the second round.

The other main American hope is the comeback kid, Brian Baker. After four years out of the game, his rise has been nothing short of incredible. His first appearance in an ATP main draw saw him reach the final in Nice, which he followed up by reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon. This will be his first appearance in Los Angeles and hopes are high (14/1 Brian Baker to win ATP Los Angeles). He begins his campaign against fellow American, Rajeev Ram, ahead of a possible semi-final clash with Sam Querrey.

An interesting outsider could be the 2009 semi-finalist, Leonardo Mayer. Predominantly a clay court player, he has a bye through to the second round where he will play either Flavio Cipolla or Jack Sock (25/1 Leonardo Mayer to win ATP Los Angeles). While his form on the hard courts has been very poor in the past 24 months, he does have several ATP semi-finals on hard courts to his name. However, the slower nature of these courts may suit his big hitting game.

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