ATP 250 BASTAD; THE KING OF 250 TOURNAMENTS IS HERE
Of course there is life after Wimbledon, and a very historic one at that, welcome to the master of 250 events – the ATP SkiStar Swedish Open.
For 11 years running, the SkiStar Swedish Open, or simply Bastad, has been voted by players as the best ATP 250 tournament of the year. This is by no means a mere trifle when you consider the number of tournaments on the tour and the players who compete in them. The tournament keeps improving every year and the honor of being the best for 11 years running is a testament to the strides that the organizers make every year.
This year’s event is seeded one through eight, with Argentine star Diego Schwartzman claiming the number one seed, while Pablo Carreno Busta will be number two. Schwartzman reached the Quarter-Final of Roland Garros this year, losing to the ineveitable Nadal in four sets, but that form dissipated along the way as he lost in Eastbourne in both the singles and doubles draw at the Round of 16. He’ll be looking to assert his rankings here at Bastad and keep pace for the ATP Finals as the season inches closer to the end.
Defending champion David Ferrer will enter as the seventh seed and will have to face a qualifier in the first round, before facing either Jaume Munar or Casper Ruud, both wildcard beneficiaries. It has been a quiet year for the aging Ferrer, whose last outing was in Eastbourne, where he lost to Kukushkin. Still to win a title this year, he’ll be hoping to defend his title here at Bastad and pick up some momentum before the US Open rolls along.
The ever-entertaining Fabio Fognini enters as the number three seed and will be hoping to go all the way this time around. His best record here is the Round of 16 in 2010.
After losing dismally to Nadal at Roland Garros, Richard Gasquet went on to win at Hertogenbosch, defeating fellow Frenchman, Jeremy Chardy. Gasquet has never played in Bastad, and will be looking to take every advantage of his seed. A possible quarter-final against Ferrer awaits.
Spaniard, Fernando Verdasco, who has twice made the finals in Bastad is back and will be looking to do better than just be in the finals, with possible matchups with Fognini or Carreno Busta ahead.
Leonardo Mayer and Australia’s John Millman complete the seeding for the tournament, at sixth and eighth respectively.