A variety of up-and-coming talents are competing at this week’s Winston Salem openan ATP 250 hard court event in North Carolina.
#NextGenATP stars Lorenzo Musetti, Holger Rune and Jack Draper will seek deep runs to further increase theirs Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals Chances of qualifying in the final tour-level tournament before the US Open.
Before the game begins, ATPTour.com looks at five things to see in Winston-Salem.
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1) Dimitrov Top Seed: The Bulgarian will try to recover from a disappointing first-round exit Denis Shapovalov in Cincinnati on his second appearance at Winston-Salem. The world No. 18 started the season strongly, reaching the quarter-finals at Indian Wells before moving into the last four in Monte Carlo. Dimitrov will look to find the recipe for success in North Carolina as he seeks his first title since 2017.
2) Thiem makes debut: Thiem showed signs of returning to his best form in July, advancing to the quarter-finals in Bastad and Kitzbuhel while reaching the semi-finals in Gstaad. The Austrian is playing in his first hard-court event of the season and will look to gain further momentum on his debut in Winston-Salem.
The former world No. 3, currently No. 228 in the Pepperstone ATP rankings, opens against American JJ Wolf and could play against Dimitrov in the second round.
3) Musetti & Rune Seeking second title: #NextGenATP stars Musetti and Rune will look to reach further heights when they compete in Winston-Salem. Italy’s Musetti, currently third in the Pepperstone ATP Race To Milan, claimed his first tour-level title in Hamburg before progressing through qualifying in Cincinnati last week.
Rune, who is making his debut at the ATP 250 hard court event, rose to his first tour-level trophy in Munich in April and comes aiming to build on his fighting record Cameron Norrie Last week in Ohio. Good runs at Winston-Salem will see 20-year-old Musetti and 19-year-old Rune increase their already strong chances of qualifying for the tournament Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals for a second year in a row.
4) The Pepperstone ATP Race to Milan continues to heat up: Behind third-placed Musetti and fourth-placed Rune, the battle for qualification for the under-21 event is heating up. Draper, currently fifth, reached his first ATP Masters 1000 quarterfinals in Montreal earlier this month while in sixth place Jiri Lehecka In early August, he clinched his first ATP Challenger Tour title of the year.
Chun Hsin Tseng from Chinese Taipei is holding a 36-16 record at all levels this season and is currently eighth. Draper will play Fabio Fognini or Dusan Lajović in his opening game while Lehecka plays Peter Gojowczyk in the first round. Tseng takes over Hugo Dellian.
5) Mektic/Pavic Headline Doubles: Nikola Mektic and Buddy Pavic will be seeking their fifth title of the season as a team when they go to court in Winston-Salem. The top seeds will face stiff competition from the second seeds Roland Garros finalists Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek and third seed Matthew Ebden and Jamie Murray. Lloyd glass pool and Harry Helovaara are ranked fourth in North Carolina.