After a one-week break following the conclusion of the US Open, the ATP Tour resumes this week, with two ATP 250 events in Metz and Nur-Sultan beginning Monday and the Laver Cup in Boston kicking off Friday.
Miami champion Hubert Hurkacz, Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta and former World No. 1 Andy Murray are among those in action at the Moselle Open, with Alexander Bublik and Aslan Karatsev leading the field at the Astana Open.
At the Laver Cup, Team Europe will look to extend its dominance over Team World, after winning the three previous editions of the tournament. Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Felix Auger-Aliassime are just a few of the players competing in Boston.
ATPTour.com looks at five things you should watch at each event.
View Metz Draw | View Nur-Sultan Draw
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN METZ
1) Hurkacz Leads The Field: The top seed in Metz is Hurkacz, who is aiming to win his third tour-level title of the season, after triumphing on hard in Delray Beach, before capturing his first ATP Masters 1000 crown in Miami. The Pole fell in the first round on his debut at the indoor-hard event in 2019 and arrives on the back of a second-round exit to Andreas Seppi at the US Open. The 24-year-old will face French wild card Lucas Pouille, who won the title in 2016, or a qualifier in his opening match.
2) Former Champions In Action: Alongside Pouille, two other Frenchmen in the draw have tasted success at the Moselle Open and will look to replicate that again. Former World No. 6 Gilles Simon has clinched the title three times, dropping just one set en route to the crown in 2018, while third seed Gael Monfils triumphed in 2009. Simon faces Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the first round with Monfils, who will aim to build on his run to the third round at Flushing Meadows, starting against Marco Cecchinato or a qualifier.
3) Murray Accepts Wild Card: Having competed in Cincinnati, Winston-Salem and at the US Open in North America, 34-year-old Murray will return to tour-level action in Metz after accepting a wild card into the ATP 250 event. The Scot has competed in seven tour-level tournaments this season, with his best result a run to the third round at Wimbledon. The World No. 116 will face sixth-seeded Frenchman Ugo Humbert in the first round.
.@andy_Murray show ✨ pic.twitter.com/ejtBULT4Ga
— Moselle Open (@MoselleOpen) September 18, 2021
4) Carreno Busta Targeting More Success: The second seed reached the quarter-finals at the Moselle Open in 2019 and will look to go further this week as he targets his third tour-level title of the season. The Spaniard, who defeated Novak Djokovic to win the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, has lifted trophies in Marbella and Hamburg this year and begins against Winston-Salem finalist Mikael Ymer or Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.
5) Kontinen and McLachlan Team: In the doubles draw, Henri Kontinen and Ben McLachlan lead the field as the top seeds as they compete together for the first time, facing Matt Reid and Ken Skupski in the first round. Tomislav Brkic and Nikola Cacic are the second seeds, while Oliver Marach and Philipp Oswald are seeded third. Australians Luke Saville and John-Patrick Smith are the fourth seeds.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH IN NUR-SULTAN
1) Bublik Holds Home Hopes: Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik will look to regain his form on home soil in Nur-Sultan, having suffered a slight blip following a strong start to the season, in which the 24-year-old reached finals in Antalya and Singapore. The second seed opens against Miomir Kecmanovic or Fernando Verdasco and could face Dusan Lajovic in the semi-finals.
2) Karatsev Aiming For Strong Finish: Karatsev currently sits in 12th place in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin and will need a strong finish to the season if he is going to qualify for the 2021 Nitto ATP Finals. The top seed, who won his maiden tour-level title in Dubai in March, fell to #NextGenATP American Jenson Brooksby in a five-set thriller at the US Open earlier this month. The 28-year-old will face Emiil Ruusuvuori or Benjamin Bonzi in his opening match.
3) Musetti Making Debut: #NextGenATP Italian Lorenzo Musetti will make his debut in Nur-Sultan as he continues his push to qualify for the 2021 Next Gen ATP Finals on home soil. The 19-year-old, who has reached semi-finals in Acapulco and Lyon this year, is in sixth place in the ATP Race To Milan, after reaching the second round at the US Open.
4) Reigning Champion Returns: Australian John Millman has fond memories in Nur-Sultan, having lifted his first tour-level title at the first edition of the event last year. The 32-year-old reached the quarter-finals in Washington last month and returns this week to Kazakhstan to try and defend his title, starting against a qualifier.
5) Ivashka Arrives In-Form: Ilya Ivashka, currently at a career-high No. 53 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, arrives in form after cruising to his first ATP Tour title in Winston-Salem, before reaching the third round at the US Open. The 27-year-old has won eight of his last nine matches and will aim to improve this record in Metz.
FIVE THINGS TO WATCH AT THE LAVER CUP
1) Medvedev Makes Debut: Medvedev will return to action less than two weeks after winning his maiden major title at the US Open earlier this month as he makes his debut at the Laver Cup. The Russian, who defeated Novak Djokovic in the final at Flushing Meadows, has compiled an 18-2 record since Wimbledon.
2) Tsitsipas and Zverev Return: In 2019, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev both competed for Team Europe as they defeated Team World to win the title for the third time. The pair will reunite this week in Boston as they aim to extend their dominance over Team World. Zverev arrives in form, having captured his fifth ATP Masters 1000 crown in Cincinnati, before enjoying a run to the semi-finals at the US Open.
3) Canadians Competing For Team World: Canada’s Denis Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime will look to lead Team World to a first victory at the Laver Cup, with the latter full of confidence after he reached his first major semi-final at Flushing Meadows. It will be the third time Shapovalov has competed at the event, after starring in 2017 and 2019.
Team World aims to flip the script. #LaverCup 2021 pic.twitter.com/TrEI5WPdgi
— Laver Cup (@LaverCup) September 13, 2021
4) Others To Watch: Fresh off his rise into the Top 5 of the FedEx ATP Rankings, Andrey Rublev is part of Team Europe’s squad, with Matteo Berrettini and Norway’s Casper Ruud in action, too. Big-serving Americans Reilly Opelka and John Isner will compete for Team World alongside Diego Schwartzman and Nick Kyrgios.
5) Borg & McEnroe Lead The Teams: Former World No. 1 Bjorn Borg and seven-time major champion John McEnroe will captain the teams again for a fourth time. Borg will hope Team Europe can replicate their dominant form this week, after Zverev secured its third-straight victory in the final match of the 2019 event.