With the Asian swing coming to an end, players will look to Europe to finish the last leg of the ATP tournaments before the years’ end. And all eyes will turn towards the Kremlin Cup, the nation’s first international professional tennis tournament commencing on October 14, 2019.
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The Cup will feature some of the upcoming next-gen players. Karen Khachanov, the defending champion, has been confirmed to play. Currently ranked No.9, Khachanov has had a good season this year. He reached the quarter-finals of the Indian Wells Masters, the French Open, the Halle Open and the semi-finals of the Canadian Open and most recently, the China Open where he lost to the eventual champion, Dominic Thiem.
St. Petersburg Open champion, Daniil Medvedev will also be playing in Moscow. Medvedev has had a stellar few months, reaching the finals of five consecutive tournaments he has played, winning two. Medvedev reached the finals of his first Grand Slam at the US Open, losing out to four-time US Open champion, Rafael Nadal. Medvedev is currently at his career-high rank of 4 and has reached the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Masters on his way to a sixth consecutive finals appearance.
Khachanov and Medvedev have played as rivals three times and with Medvedev winning twice, Khachanov will look forward to level their record.
Andrey Rublev with a singles ranking of 33 has reached the finals at the Oracle Challenger Series- Indian Wells, the German Open and the quarter-finals at Open13, Cincinnati Masters, Winston-Salem Open and the St.Petersburg Open where he lost out to eventual champion Daniil Medvedev whom he has a chance to best in their home country.
Rublev has played Medvedev twice, losing both times and will hope to thwart the latter’s record to three wins against him.
Two-time champion, Marin Cilic, will be returning to Moscow to once again claim the title. The world No.25 who played the ATP Finals last year managed to reach the quarter-finals of the Madrid Open and the Washington Open this year. Cilic is a force to be reckoned with given his experienced victories at this tournament.
Among other players confirmed to play is Adrian Mannarino, the Zhuhai finalist who also won his first title early this year at the Libema Open. Mannarino was the finalist at the 2018 Kremlin Cup but lost to Khachanov in straight sets.
Andreas Seppi, world No.72, reached the quarter-finals at Oracle Challenger Series and Zhuhai reached the quarter-finals at Sydney International and won the Challenger Cary this year. Seppi reached the semi-finals at the Cup last year losing to Mannarino.
Mikhail Kukushkin and Cristian Garin will also be among the top seeds in Moscow.
Given the competitive pool of players the Kremlin Cup 2019 will host, it will be a riveting tournament to follow especially to see the impact on the year-end rankings.