Stan Wawrinka The Star at ATP Sofia 2018
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
Here is your look at the 2018 Diema Xtra Sofia Open, an ATP 250 indoor hard court tournament in Bulgaria, one of the few ATP tour stops in Eastern Europe.
Despite struggling on his return to the tour from injury in Melbourne, Stan Wawrinka is very much the man in Sofia. Wawrinka, presuming he’s fit, should be able to fire past wild card Alexander Donski or a qualifier, and then Denis Istomin/Viktor Troicki in the quarters (wild card Adrian Andreev and a qualifier are also options).
Max Marterer reached the third round in Melbourne, Malek Jaziri and Joao Sousa/Dimitar Kuzmanov isn’t the easiest path, but I’ll still back him to reach the quarters opposite his countryman Philipp Kohlschreiber. Kohli takes on Sergiy Stakhovsky or a qualifier in round 2 after struggling to start the season. Marterer over Kohlschreiber is my upset pick for the tournament.Embed from Getty Images
A couple of Davis Cup participants could reprise their matchup in the semifinals if things go according to plan. Adrian Mannarino takes on Marcos Baghdatis or Mikhail Kukushkin, who also played DC this weekend. From there he would face either Evgeny Donskoy or Lukas Lacko in the quarters. I have Lacko beating Donskoy and Radu Albot/qualifier before falling to Mannarino.
Robin Haase fell to Mannarino in the Davis Cup on the weekend, he faces Marius Copil, Blaz Kavcic/Laslo Djere will follow. He should reach the quarters but I’ll back Gilles Muller to beat Andreas Seppi/Mikhail Youzhny and Haase to reach the semis.
Wawrinka d. Marterer
Muller d. Mannarino
Muller has a great shot to take the title, but Wawrinka is the best player in the field, even at 80% of his abilities. Presuming he’s gotten enough practice in since losing in Melbourne, Wawrinka is the favorite.Embed from Getty Images
Wawrinka d. Muller