• Ferrer, Wawrinka headline Portugal Open

    4/28/13 6:45 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Ferrer, Wawrinka headline Portugal Open Short on clay-court matches, David Ferrer has accepted a wildcard into this week's Portugal Open. Ferrer is joined in the 250-point field by Stanislas Wawrinka, Andreas Seppi, and Fabio Fognini.

    With David Ferrer in questionable form at the moment, this week's Portugal Open title should be up for grabs among a strong contingent of contenders looking to fine-tune their games for two more clay-court Masters events and ultimately the French Open. Still, the rest of the field could not have been amused to see Ferrer accept a late wild card into the tournament.

    The fifth-ranked Spaniard's entry knocked Stanislas Wawrinka down to the No. 2 seed. Wawrinka's 2013 campaign has been solid but unspectacular so far (aside from an epic Australian Open match against Novak Djokovic). The Swiss reached the Casablanca semifinals (lost to Tommy Robredo in sets) and the quarters in Monte-Carlo, where he fell to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in three. Wawrinka will open in Oeiras against either Carlos Berlocq or Albert Ramos before a possible showdown in the last eighth with seventh-seeded Horacio Zeballos.

    Fabio Fognini, a surprise semifinalist in Monte-Carlo, has the other first-round bye in the bottom half of the draw as the No. 4 seed. Fognini's section is relatively soft, although it does include fifth-seeded Julien Benneteau in addition to David Goffin and Paolo Lorenzi. An early all-Italian clash could be in the cards for Fognini and Lorenzi.

    As for Ferrer, he skipped Monte-Carlo after finishing runner-up in Miami and he lost his Barcelona opener to Dmitry Tursunov. This week's top seed appears to have a relatively favorable draw. He will begin his campaign against either Gilles Muller or Edouard Roger-Vasselin and his potential seeded quarterfinal opponent is Benoit Paire. Possible semifinal opponents for Ferrer are Andreas Seppi and an in-form Tommy Robredo.

    Robredo, the champion in Casablanca and a quarterfinalist in Barcelona, kicks off his week with a matchup against fellow Spaniard Daniel Gimeno-Traver. Seppi awaits either Alejandro Falla or Andrey Kuznetsov.

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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