Regular events on the main tour ATP season draws to a close this week with ATP Stockholm the final tournament. Dan Weston returns to preview the week ahead...
"A round two match between Sinner and Andy Murray certainly catches the attention in the first bracket, while Taylor Fritz also threatens in what looks like a fairly competitive opening quarter."
Stockholm the final event on the main ATP calendar
Novak Djokovic fought back from a set down to send a strong message to Daniil Medvedev ahead of the ATP Finals in Turin (scheduled to start in around a week's time) by beating the Russian in three sets, and there's just one final regular event remaining on the ATP Tour for the season, a 250 level tournament in the Swedish capital, Stockholm.
Sinner the pre-tournament favourite
Truth be told, I'm rather unenthused by this tournament, given that we know who have qualified for the Tour Finals and usually Paris is the last event of the main season calendar - a suitable tournament to end the year on. However, there's still 28 players who are willing to make the trip to Stockholm in an attempt to finish the season on a high.
Jannik Sinner, Dan Evans, Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime are seeds with first round byes while Tommy Paul, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Marton Fucsovics are also in round two after early victories yesterday on a low-profile opening day. It's top seed Sinner 4.1 who is the pre-tournament favourite, with Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov competing for the second-favourite spot in advance of their tournament beginning.
Big servers historically dominating in Sweden
The tournament didn't take place last year but the winners list over the last decade has been dominated by strong servers. The likes of Tomas Berdych and Juan Martin del Potro have had particular success here and while conditions aren't likely to be particularly quick for an indoor court based on historical data, it wouldn't be a surprise if this trend continued.
Sinner v Murray a round two highlight
A round two match between Sinner and Andy Murray 15.014/1 certainly catches the attention in the first bracket, while Taylor Fritz also threatens in what looks like a fairly competitive opening quarter. While Sinner has ended the season strongly, it would be a push to think he's value at these market prices based on his likely route to the final.
Quarter two looks wide open with Dan Evans seeded but Frances Tiafoe and Emil Ruusuvuori have chances to make the latter stages, and general market prices on Ruusuvuori at around 20/1 look reasonable, particularly if Sinner does exit early.
Shapovalov can compete in quarter three
In Q3, Shapovalov looks a heavy favourite to progress, with qualifiers standing in his way until the quarter-finals and then he'd be heavy favourite in that quarter final as well, although it's fair to point out that the Canadian, who missed Paris last week, hasn't performed particularly well of late.
Finally in the bottom quarter, Auger-Aliassime is the main seed but many will be supporting the in-form Botic van de Zandschulp who made the semi-final in St. Petersburg as a qualifier the week before last, as well as the quarter-final of the US Open at the start of September.
The bottom half of the draw looks weaker, and if Shapovalov is anywhere near his best, he should get through and challenge at 7.87/1. That's probably not a given though, but it wouldn't be a surprise if the Canadian progressed here to the latter stages at the very least.
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