An amazing list of tennis players will feature in the Sofia Open 2020 November 7 – 14. A FedEx ATP Rankings Top 10, seven Top 20 players, three Grand Slam finalists and the first-ever Sofia Open champion. Players’ list for this year’s tournament is not only the strongest in the history of the Sofia Open but the strongest in an ATP 250 tournament since January 2017.
The 19 directly accepted players for the fifth edition of Sofia Open are now known. It’s worth noting that 18 of them are ranked in the Top 40 of the rankings with a cut-off at #35. The sole exception is Kevin Anderson who used a protected ranking of No.14 to enter the main draw.
Diego Schwartzman (No.8), Gael Monfils (No.11), Denis Shapovalov (no.12), Roberto Bautista Agut (No.13), Pablo Carreño Busta (No.15), Fabio Fognini (No.16), Karen Khachanov (No.17), Milos Raonic (No.21), Felix Auger-Aliassime (No.22), Dusan Lajovic (No.24), Casper Ruud (No.25), Borna Coric (No.27), Taylor Fritz (No.28), Alex de Minaur (No.29), Filip Krajinovic (No.30), Jan-Lennard Struff (No.32), Nikoloz Basilashvili (No.33), Kei Nishikori (No.35) and Kevin Anderson (PR No.14) are the 19 players directly accepted into the Sofia Open 2020 main draw.
Diego Schwartzman made his FedEx ATP Rankings Top 10 debut on Monday after reaching Roland Garros semi-finals. The tiny Argentinian climbed to No.8 – his highest ever ranking. Schwartzman owns three ATP singles titles. This year he reached the final at Cordoba Open and ATP Masters 1000 Rome.
Gael Monfils will play at the Sofia Open for a second year in a row. The charismatic Frenchman was a semifinalist in his debut in 2019 losing to the eventual champion Daniil Medvedev. Monfils is ranked at No.11 in the world and owns 10 ATP singles titles. The last two of them came in February – at Open Sud de France and the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.
21-year old Denis Shapovalov is the highest ranked Canadian in the world. Since Monday he’s at No.12 after breaking into the Top 10 at the end of September. Last year Shapovalov won Stockholm Open – his first ever ATP singles title.
Roberto Bautista Agut is the winner of the first edition of Sofia Open. The Spaniard won in 2016 beating Viktor Troicki for one of his nine ATP singles titles. In 2019 Bautista Agut reached semi-finals at Wimbledon and was a part of Spain’s Davis Cup winning team. In the current FedEx ATP Rankings he sits at No.13.
Pablo Carreño Busta is a two-time US Open semifinalist and last week he reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros. The 29-year old Spaniard owns four ATP singles and four ATP doubles titles after winning with Alex de Minaur the Western&Southern Open in August.
Fabio Fognini is a nine-time ATP singles title winner and in 2015 became an Australian Open doubles champion alongside Simone Bolelli. The 33-year old Italian is in the Top 20 of the FedEx ATP Rankings for 113 consecutive weeks.
Kei Nishikori is the most decorated Sofia Open 2020 participant. The Japanese is a 12-time ATP singles title winner and has reached 26 finals. In 2014 Nishikori lost to Marin Cilic in the US Open final. A few months later he climbed to his highest-ever ranking – No.4. Currently Nishikori sits at No.35.
Milos Raonic is another Grand Slam finalist in Sofia Open 2020 field. The Canadian lost to Andy Murray in 2016 Wimbledon but climbed to No.3 in the world a couple of week later. Born in Podgorica, Montenegro, Raonic owns eight ATP singles titles. This year he reached the final at the Western&Southern Open.
Kevin Anderson is a two-time Grand Slam finalist. The South African lost to Nadal in the 2017 US Open final and to Djokovic in the 2018 Wimbledon final. He’s won six ATP singles titles and is a former world No.5. However after a couple of knee surgeries during the last 14 months Anderson sits currently at No.109.
There are also two special exempts into the Sofia Open 2020 main draw that will be allocated in accordance with the Masters 1000 Paris results. If there’s no need for a special exempt the two places will be given to players from the alternate list. As of today it is led by Guido Pella (No.37) followed by Hugo Humbert (No.38), Adrian Mannarino (No.39), Marin Cilic (No.40) etc.
Kaveri Godkhindi, CEO – Brandplus and Sofia Open stated: “It is truly creditable to the city of Sofia to be the only ATP Tour event in the Balkans and one of a handful of cities that is able to stage a prestigious ATP Men’s international tournament in 2020 – the 5th and strongest edition of the Sofia Open. As the Sanction Rights Holder, Brandplus’s main objective in bringing this international tournament to Bulgaria, was to offer the capital city of Sofia the best in professional tennis each year with top ranked players, and also to build the Sofia Open over time as one of the top ATP 250 events. We are thrilled with the talent and depth of the player field this year, featuring One Top 10, 7 Top 20 and 15 Top 30 players which will ensure all the eyes of the world will be on Sofia through live TV pictures and media. In addition it is possible that the results of the Sofia Open could decide the last few qualifying spots for the top-8 season ending Nitto ATP World Tour Finals in London. We are still in discussions with Grigor and his team, who had signed up to play the Sofia Open that was to be held in the original week of September 2020, and now it is hoped Grigor who loves his country and the sport, will be able to join the newly scheduled Sofia Open, and accept a wildcard specially reserved for him. We have received wild card requests from other top players as well, and the names will be announced in the next few weeks.”
Stefan Tzvetkov, President of Bulgarian Tennis Federation, said: “The list of players is phenomenal! I am proud that our beautiful capital city of Sofia will once again host such a prestigious international tennis event. Despite the uncertainties, the Sofia Open Team has decided to go ahead, because we have a responsibility to the city of Sofia, to Bulgaria, to all the fans, to the players and to the wonderful sport of tennis for the sake of the youth! Even though it is a challenging and difficult task, it was the right thing to do. We are hoping that the health situation will stay stable and we will have some great tennis and live TV pictures showcasing Sofia and the Sofia Open seen all over the world! Beautiful Bulgaria and its people deserve their wonderful country to be seen in a positive light and for their unique cultural heritage story to be shared worldwide!“
“Sofia Open 2020 will be something extraordinary. Just look at the powerful line up of Players! Sofia and Bulgaria must feel proud with this tournament. Bulgaria is among the few countries in the world to stage an ATP tournament after the COVID-19 out break and being the only tournament in this week, commencing November 9th,the tennis community and world will turn its attention towards Bulgaria. Millions of viewers will watch world class tennis and Sofia Open will turn into the best possible promotion for the beautiful Bulgaria. But the biggest pleasure will be for the fans in “Arena Armeec” who from 7th to 14th of November will attend this world class tournament and watch these players in action”, said Sofia Open tournament director Goran Djokovic.
Ticket information to be announced soon.