ATP Surprises and Shake Ups
There were three ATP World Tour 250 Series running concurrently, and Australia’s clay-court enthusiasts had their focus on the Ecuador Open in Quito. The thin air of the high-altitude Ecuadorian capital is a challenge to most players, so upsets and surprises always abound. This years tournament certainly shook up the tennis world.
Top seed Ivo Karlovic, the Croatian World No. 18, succumbed in the Round of 16 to unseeded Victor Estrella Burgos from the Dominican Republic, the Ecuador Open Champion in 2015 and 2016, now shooting for a hat-trick. The Dominican won 6-7, 7-6, 7-6; all three sets ending in tie-breakers finishing 7-9, 7-5, and 10-8.
The second seed, Spain’s World No. 30 Albert Ramos Vinolas, is safely through to the quarterfinals, where he faces countryman Roberto Carballes Baena. Paolo Lorenzi, the Italian third seed, and fourth-seeded Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci, also made the quarterfinals.
Thiem Out in Sofia Open Shock
In Bulgaria, the Garanti Koza Sofia Open took place on the indoor hard courts of the Arena Armeec. The tournament gets a lot of attention from Australian betting fans because of the strength of its field, boasting 11 Top-50 players in total and three from the Top 15.
However, big names mean big upsets: anyone betting on World No. 87 Nikoloz Basilashvili in the Round of 16 would have made a very tidy sum. The Georgian knocked out the tournament’s top seed, Austrian World No. 8 Dominic Thiem, in straight sets: 6-4, 6-4.
Basilashvili faced eighth seed Martin Klizan of Slovakia in the quarterfinals. Luxembourgian Gilles Muller and reigning Sofia Open champ Roberto Bautista Agut from Spain, respectively the fifth and fourth seeds, meet in a quarterfinals too. Belgian second seed David Goffin and Bulgarian third seed Grigor Dimitrov also have quarterfinal berths. Making for a surprising line up change.
Sud De France Open Claims Cilic
Arena Montpellier also provided Australian tennis punters with some unexpected thrills. World No. 7 Marin Cilic of Croatia was the top seed, and many were expecting him to go all the way. Instead, he crashed out to German World No. 84 Dustin Brown in straight sets on Wednesday, leaving the title wide open.
France’s Richard Gasquet has won the Sud de France Open for the past two years running, and the third seed booked his place in the quarterfinals. So too did French second seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who defeated countryman Pierre-Hugh Herbert in the Round of 16. However it was not to be for Gasquet, as extGenATP star Alexander Zverev took the title in yet another tennis surprise.