ATP 2018 Stockholm Open Draw: Preview & Analysis
Oct 18 4 min read5:15 am
The Stockholm Open completes a half century of editions this year as the players enter the Swedish event that has 250 points up for grabs. Two-time defending champion Juan Martin Del Potro is unable to defend his title due to a right knee injury. The 2018 draw sees no former champion, guaranteeing a first-time winner at Stockholm. World No.10 John Isner is the top seed for the event and four other Top 20 players are a part of the main draw. Here is how the men lineup for the event:
Top Half: Isner, Pouille, Shapovalov, Sock
Top seed John Isner makes his second appearance at Stockholm. In his first appearance in 2016, he lost to eventual champion Del Potro in the first round in straight sets. Isner also fell to Del Potro at the quarter-finals at the US Open this year and plays his first match on the pro tour since that defeat. Having received a bye in the opening round, he awaits Bradley Klahn or Marius Copil in the second. German qualifier Oscar Otte faces lucky loser Jurgen Zopp in the first round. Zopp makes his third appearance at Stockholm, having lost in the Round of 16 in the previous two appearances. The winner will face Tennys Sandgren or fifth seed Lucas Pouille in the second round. Pouille makes his debut at Stockholm and is likely to face Isner in the quarters.
The Ymer brothers have received wildcards in the main draw at Stockholm. While Elias Ymer faces Maximilian Marterer, Mikael will face qualifier Ernests Gulbis in the first round. Marterer faces the elder Ymer brother for the first time on pro tour but had defeated him once on the Challenger circuit. The German makes his second appearance at Stockholm, having lost in the first round as a qualifier in 2015 to Leonardo Mayer. Gulbis makes his third appearance at Stockholm, having reached the semi-finals in his last appearance five years ago. He lost to eventual runner-up David Ferrer in three sets. The last match that Gulbis won on the pro tour was against Alexander Zverev at Wimbledon earlier this year. Gulbis won in five sets with the final set scoreline reading 6-0. Both the Ymer brothers have reached the Round of 16 at Stockholm, which is their best result (Elias in 2017, Mikael in 2016). The winner of Marterer and Ymer will face fourth seed Jack Sock in the second round. Sock has twice been a runner-up at the event and reached the quarters last year. In an all-Canadian clash, qualifier Peter Polansky will face seventh seed Denis Shapovalov in the first round. The duo will face each other for the first time on the pro circuit but are tied at 1-1 at Challengers. Both players play at Stockholm for the first time in their careers.
Probable semi-finals: Isner vs Shapovalov
Bottom Half: Fognini, Tsitsipas, Chung, Verdasco
Second seed Fabio Fognini finished as a semifinalist last year. He has received a bye into the next round and awaits the winner of Lukas Lacko and Taro Daniel. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Denis Kudla face each other for the the first time in their career. Sixth seed Hyeon Chung got a wildcard into the main draw and will face Taylor Fritz in the first round. Chung reached the Round of 16 last year where he lost to Kevin Anderson. The Korean has lost six of his last ten matches.
Since US Open quarter-final loss to Novak Djokovic this year, John Millman has played only one match in the qualifying round at Shanghai, which he lost in straight sets to Radu Albot. At Stockholm he makes his second appearance after three years and will face compatriot Alexei Popyrin who made it through the qualifying draw. The winner will face third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas who has got a bye to the second round. Tsitsipas makes his debut at Stockholm. World No.31 Alex de Minaur will face World No.35 Philipp Kohlschreiber in the first round. Kohlschreiber makes his second appearance at Stockholm for the first time in 14 years. The German last played at Stockholm in 2004, where he lost his first round match to Michal Tabara. Eighth seed Fernando Verdasco is arguably the most experienced player in the main draw of Stockholm. He makes his eighth appearance at Stockholm with his best result coming last year where he reached the semifinals and lost to eventual champion Juan Martin Del Potro. He faces Matthew Ebden in the first round, who made his first appearance in a Masters quarter-final last week at Shanghai. The winner will face de Minaur or Kohlschreiber in the second round. Tsitsipas and de Minaur who recently met at Tokyo might face each other for the second time in the quarter-finals. Tsitsipas won their first meeting 6-3 5-7 6-1.