ATP 2018 European Open Draw: Preview & Analysis
Oct 18 4 min read5:29 am
The third edition of the European Open held at Antwerp will run from October 15-21. Diego Schwartzman has reached the final in each of the first two editions, but lost both matches to Frenchmen, Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. All three of them feature in the draw in the third edition. Schwartzman is seeded second whereas the field is headed by top seed Kyle Edmund. Milos Raonic, Gael Monfils, Gilles Simon, Francis Tiafoe and Robin Haase are some of the other high ranked players to feature in the draw. Defending champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is back to defend his title. Here is how the players lineup for the third edition of the event.
Top Half: Edmund, Gasquet, Tiafoe, Haase, Lopez
Making his debut at the European Open, Albert Ramos-Vinolas will face lucky loser Stephane Robert in the opening round. The winner will play top seed Kyle Edmund in the second round who has got a bye into the next round. Indian No.1 Yuki Bhambri replaced Beijing champion Nikoloz Basilashvili in the main draw and will face lucky loser Salvatore Caruso in the first round. Bulgaria's Ilya Ivashka has lost in the first round of the last two pro level tournaments he entered as a qualifier. He makes it to the main draw after making it through the qualifiers and will meet Robin Haase in the first round. Haase has entered the tournament as the eighth seed and is currently on a three-match losing streak. The winner will face Bhambri or Caruso in the next round.
The last main draw match of a pro level tournament that Jiri Vesely won was in July at Umag. He faces Spain's Jaume Munar in the first round. The winner will face fourth seeded and 2016 champion Richard Gasquet in the second round. Gasquet reached the semis at the Tokyo Open but lost in the second round at the Shanghai Masters against Juan Martin Del Potro. Jan-Lennard Struff recorded one of the biggest wins of his career recently against Marin Cilic during his quarter-finals run at Tokyo Open. He faces lucky loser Constant Lestienne in the first round at Antwerp. The winner will face Feliciano Lopez or seventh seed Francis Tiafoe in the next round. Lopez is having one of the worst seasons of his career, winning 19 and losing 22 matches so far. The Spaniard's opponent, Francis Tiafoe is himself on a rough patch, having won only two of his last seven matches on tour. Tiafoe was ousted in the Round of 16 last year by David Goffin.
Probable semi-finals: Edmund vs Tiafoe
Bottom Half: Schwartzman, Raonic, Monfils, Simon, Tsonga
Second seed and two-time runner-up Diego Schwartzman has got a bye into the second round and awaits the winner of qualifier Marcel Granollers and Cameron Norrie. Schwartzman lost against Granollers in their lone meeting at Kitzbuhel in 2014. The Argentine is yet to face Norrie in his career. Mackenzie McDonald defeated Nicolas Jarry earlier this year in a thrilling five-setter at Wimbledon with the final set ending with a scoreline of 11-9. The duo face each other for the second time at Antwerp in the first round. The winner will face fifth seed Gilles Simon or Sergiy Stakhovsky in the next round. Stakhovsky won his last main draw match at Wimbledon in the first round against Joao Sousa in five sets. Since that win, Stakhovsky lost his first round match at Newport and never qualified for the main draw of any pro level tournament. He faces 2018 Metz Champion Gilles Simon who has a 4-0 lead over the Ukrainian in the head to head record.
Vasek Pospisil will face Leonardo Mayer for the first time in his career. The winner will face third seed and wildcard entrant Milos Raonic, who received a bye in the second round. Raonic, who makes his debut at the European Open leads Pospisil 2-0 and Mayer 1-0. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will begin his title defense by facing Guido Pella in a first career matchup. Pella made a first round exit last year to Ivo Karlovic after losing the final set tiebreak 12-10. The winner will face Gael Monfils or wildcard entrant Ruben Bemelmans in the next round. Monfils won his lone meeting against Bemelmans at Montpellier in 2013. While Monfils makes his debut at Antwerp, Bemelmans finished as the semi-finalist last year, losing to eventual champion Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. On the pro tour, Monfils is currently on a four-match losing streak. He won the Kaohsiung Challenger in late September. An eighth career meeting between Monfils and Tsonga is on the cards if both the Frenchmen are able to get past their first round matches. Tsonga leads the head to head 4-3.