For the second time after 2020, the Sofia Open turns out to be the last ATP tournament, and the outcome of the battles in “Arena Sofia” will once again be of decisive importance for the end of the season of many of the participants.
Again, the title in Sofia can decide the last quota for the final ATP tournament – Nitto ATP Finals in Turin from November 12 to 19.
In 2020 in Sofia, the pairs Jürgen Meltzer / Edouard Roger-Vaslen and Jamie Murray / Neal Skupski fought for a place in the ATP finals. Murray and Skupski then won the title without a game after the leaders of the Meltzer/Roger-Vaslain scheme withdrew from the final clash due to pain in Meltzer’s shoulder. However, the Austrian/French tandem secured a place among the top eight pairs at the end of the season.
In 2023, history will repeat itself. This time, Americans Nathaniel Lammons and Jackson Withrow will fight for a place among the best in Turin. The Yankees have 3845 points in the standings and are only 5 points behind the eighth currently – Jamie Murray and Michael Venus.
A request to participate in Sofia is also the number 4 pair in the world at the moment – Marcel Granollers (Spain) and Horacio Zeballos (Arg). For them, participation in Turin is already certain, but they will look for an opportunity on Bulgarian soil to polish their partnership before the last battle of the season.
A tandem with Argentine participation is expected in Sofia – the sixth-ranked Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni, will also want to seal their ticket to Italy in Sofia. Tennis fans in our country will also be able to watch the best Belgian couple – Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen, currently ranked number 12 in the world.
The first doubles champion from the Sofia Open – Matwe Middlekoop – will have a new meeting with the Bulgarian public. The Dutchman, who in 2016 triumphed with the trophy with his compatriot Wesley Koolhof, this year is paired with the Italian Simone Bolelli. This will be Middlekoop’s seventh appearance in Sofia, as he has one more final – against Nikola Mektic and Aleksandar Peja in 2018. In his last appearance at Arena Sofia, the Dutchman leaves the battle in the semi-finals in 2021.
Another former champion, Nikola Mektic, is also among the applicants for Sofia Open 2023. This year, the Serbian, winner of Sofia Open 2018, plays with Julian Cash from Great Britain.