Youzhny: There will be many good matches already in the first round
The Draw has been made for the DIEMA XTRA Sofia Open. The ATP 250 event will take place from the 4st to the 11th of February in Arena Armeec. The draw was made in the presence of the players Mikhail Youzhny and Dimitar Kuzmanov, Paul McNamee – DIEMA XTRA Sofia Open, Miro Bratoev –ATP Supervisor, Arnau Brugues – ATP Tour Manager and Katerina Guenova – General Secretary Bulgarian Tennis Federation.
All three Bulgarian players, who were awarded with “wild cards”, are in the same half as the Top Seeded, three times Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka. The 2018 Indoor Bulgaria champion Alexander Donski will start his first ATP tournament against a qualifier. If he win, he will meet the Swiss in the second round.
“I am really thankful to the organizers and the Bulgarian Tennis Federation for this great opportunity to play at this big event for the third year. As always, I expect only one – to win and to play good tennis. The draw is normal one. All the players in the main draw are really good, with very long history. I hope, the fans will come and will support me, and all the Bulgarian players who will play in the qualifying round and the main draw. I have never played against Sousa, but it was not long time ago since I defeated another Top 100 player and hope, here I will win another one,” Kuzmanov said during the Official draw ceremony.
It will be tough first round match for Mikhail Youzhny, who took part in the draw ceremony too. “I like this tournament, I like the organization. I am happy to play here again. I think it is a pretty good draw, interesting one with many good matches already in the first round. I hope the crowd will enjoy the tournament. The first round will be very hard for me, but, every time, when I play, I am the favorite for winning the title”, the Russian said. Youzhny will play against Andreas Seppi in the first round.
“We feel fabulous because we have three time Grand Slam champion like Stan Wawrinka and fabulous field as Mikhail Youzhny. He is pretty good, he had made quarterfinals at the four Grand Slam tournaments as well two semifinals at US Open. There are not many players who have done this. We are very happy that such a champion as Stan Wawrinka agreed to come here. It was a little bit a surprise for him, but for us – also. May be he sees this is an opportunity for him to play few matches. We were a little bit lucky. He lost early in Australia. And he is healthy and he is playing Rotterdam the week after. He knew how difficult our situation was. We are very thankful for Stan Wawrinka. I hope the public will still come and buy tickets and support the tournament. This is very important because we want to stay in Sofia,” Paul McNamee, tournament director, explained during the ceremony.