Today is the beginning of the men’s 500 event in Barcelona called the Barcelona Open, the men’s 250 event in Budapest called the Hungarian Open and the women’s International event in Istanbul called the Istanbul Cup. Our feature match today will be during the opening day of the Hungarian Open as Viktor Troicki and Evgeny Donskoy clash with Troicki going in as the favourite.
Viktor Troicki hasn’t had the best time on the tour lately except a quarterfinal run in Sofia before falling to eventual champion Grigor Dimitrov right after the Australian Open. He then lost three straight first rounds to Richard Gasquet in Rotterdam, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in Dubai and Alexandr Dolgopolov in Indian Wells. He made the second round of Miami and then took a loss to Milos Raonic before taking to the clay courts. His only match on clay so far was a bad loss to Pablo Cuevas in the first round of Monte-Carlo. Although there has been a lot of early losses for the Serbian, they have been to high quality opponents who are ranked above him. Evgeny Donskoy also hasn’t been posting the best results recently which is evident in his three straight losses at three challenger events after the AO. He then qualified for Rotterdam and reached the second round before falling to Pierre-Hugues Herbert. He fell in the first round of Marseille to Norbert Gombos and then made a great run tot he quarterfinals of Dubai before going out Lucas Pouille but he got a win over Roger Federer in that event. He won a challenger the week after and then fell in the quarterfinals of another challenger. On the clay, He has failed to qualify for both tournaments he has entered, Marrakech and Monte-Carlo, so he is winless on clay. Although his results don’t look great on paper, he is a player ranked outside the top 100 so the results are alright for him.
This is the first time the Budapest event will be taking place so, obviously, neither player has ever played here before.
Head To Head Record
Viktor Troicki and Evgeny Donkey have met once before in their careers but it was almost a decade ago in 2008. The match took place on a hard court at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow in the first round of the event. Troicki got the very dominant 6-1, 6-3 victory despite the home crowd supporting for Donskoy. Obviously this match was so long ago and there careers are very different than they were back then but I don’t think either of their skill levels have gotten much better than when they were younger. I don’t think either player will really think about this match in preparation just because it was so long ago and on a different surface.
This will be a very straight forward win for Viktor Troicki because I don’t think Donskoy has the weapons to topple a top 50 player on the clay courts. Both players will be playing quite well and there will be minimal nerves but the Serbian will just be to strong. The first set will be neck and neck until about 3-3, when Troicki will win three straight games to take the first set. In the second set, Troicki will go up and early break and then he will break again around the middle of the set on the way to the 6-3, 6-2 win. This match probably won’t be to exciting so I’m not sure why Budapest put it on Centre Court. Nonetheless, it will be a good start to the tournament for Troicki but it could also be a great opportunity for Donskoy if Troicki doesn’t play well.