The top seed, Isner, might be the title favourite this week. His kick serve in particular serves as a huge weapon on the clay and the American always performs in his home country. Denis Kudla is the likely round two opponent for Isner who will receive a first round BYE.
Paulo Lorenzi is projected to meet the 6ft10’ man in the quarter finals, but the Italian has a tough draw ahead of him. Young American wildcard Tommy Paul could be a potential upset. Round two will either be Victor Estrella or Hyeon Chung who are both very solid players themselves
Sock has fond memories of Houston as he claimed his maiden ATP title here last year. The fourth seed’s heavy top spin forehand translates well on the dirt. He will face either Frances Tiafoe or a qualifier in a round two in which the fourth seed should win.
Baghdatis has somewhat resurged this year with some good results and heads into clay season with some decent form. The former Australian Open finalist has a tough round one however against Diego Schwartzman. Round two will likely be the ever unpredictable Fernando Verdasco.
Big serving Spaniard, Lopez, lands as the third seed in the draw. Like Federer, Lopez defies the laws of aging by still going strong later in his career. Lukas Lacko and the recovering Dmitry Tursunov will meet for the fight to face Lopez in the second round.
Johnson will face compatriot Donald Young in one of the picks of the round one matchups. The winner could fancy themselves at a semi final place as Lopez has struggled on slower surfaces. Tim Smyczek is likely to meet the winner of Johnson vs Young.
Nobody ever knows what to expect from Paire. The Frenchman could easily go all the way or lose his opening match, such is the unpredictable nature of his tennis. The second seed has clay court specialist Juan Monaco in round two which could be a potential upset.
Querrey will play the ever entertaining Dustin Brown in the opening round. The American might be the favourite to come out of this section given how easily Paire can lose early. Benjamin Becker or Michael Berrer will meet the winner in the second round.
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