ATP Estoril: Pablo Carreno Busta enlisted to defend his title
Tommy Robredo at the Millennium Estoril Open 2018 (Photo by Pedro Cunha/VAVEL USA)

ATP Estoril: Pablo Carreno Busta enlisted to defend his title

The Millennium Estoril Open is starting in less than a month and the entry list for the tournament is already known, as well as one of the wildcards. Pablo Carreno Busta will play to defend his title.

pedro-cunha
Pedro Cunha

The Millennium Estoril Open is the only Portuguese tournament on the ATP World Tour. The tournament will be played between 28th April and 6th May 2018. 

Player field

While we are waiting for the Estoril Open to start, the entry list is already out. As we have confirmed before, Kevin Anderson is set to play the Portuguese tournament. The South-African is the only top-ten player yet confirmed, but Pablo Carreno Busta - world number ten on 9th September 2017 - will play too. The last year's champion is currently ranked 12th on ATP and reached the US Open semifinals last season.

Kevin Anderson from South Africa in action during the match between Gilles Muller From Luxembourg and Kevin Anderson from South Africa for Millennium Estoril Open at Clube de Tenis do Estoril on May 6, 2017 in Estoril, Portugal. (Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)
Kevin Anderson from South Africa in action during the match between Gilles Muller From Luxembourg and Kevin Anderson from South Africa for Millennium Estoril Open at Clube de Tenis do Estoril on May 6, 2017 in Estoril, Portugal. (Photo by Carlos Rodrigues/Getty Images)

Players ranked within the top-50

At the the writing of this article, there were 11 players ranked within the top-50 assigned to play the tournament. This may vary according to the results of the players in the next few tournaments before the Millennium Estoril Open. Besides Kevin Anderson and Pablo Carreno Busta, the players inside the top-50 who will play at Estoril are Albert Ramos Viñolas, Nick Kyrgios, Kyle Edmund, Gilles Muller, David Ferrer, Robin Haas, Leonardo Mayer, Benoit Paire and Daniil Medvedev.

This is a very strong player field which can get bigger with a last minute wildcard. The tournament director - João Zilhão - told to the press in the tournament's official presentation: "We have a wildcard retained to a great player who's in the top-10 right now.". Some names were brought by the tournament director who says the tournament organization has to "be careful while choosing the wildcards, there are some on hold for names like Novak Djokovic, Kei Nishikori, and Stan Wawrinka" as well as to Juan Martin del Potro.

Juan Martin del Potro at the Millennium Estoril Open 2017 (Photo by Pedro Cunha/VAVEL USA)
Juan Martin del Potro at the Millennium Estoril Open 2017 (Photo by Pedro Cunha/VAVEL USA)

The tournament always bets on the home's favorites, the Portuguese players, but if one of the players mentioned before asks for a wildcard, they probably get it: "We don't give one of the wildcards to a Portuguese player only if it is to a name of those I've mentioned before. The decision we make is in the best interest of the tournament: television broadcast, media interests, and fans. If Djokovic comes to the tournament it will be amazing, even though it's just for taking a cup of tea or walking with is Lacoste outfit. He's not playing his best tennis but he is a big name in the world of tennis.", says the tournament director, João Zilhão.

Players outside the top-50

Even though they're outside of the top-50, it doesn't mean they are not possible winners, they all have impressive results this season. Tennys Sandgren, Frances Tiafoe, Nicolas Jarry, Stefanos Tsitsipas, João Sousa, Gilles Simon, Federico Delbonis and Roberto Carballes Baena are set to play the Millennium Estoril Open. The last player mentioned is the 81th on ATP, the only player coming to Portugal outside the top-80, at the moment.

Tennys Sandgren was a huge surprise at the Australian Open, this season, reaching the quarterfinals, while Frances Tiafoe is playing big this year, conquering the title in Delray Beach and reaching the round of 16 at the Miami Open by Itau. Nicolas Jarry reached the final in the ATP 250 of São Paulo and the semifinals in the ATP 500 of Rio de Janeiro. Tsitsipas reached the quarterfinals in Doha and Dubai, and João Sousa the third and fourth round in Indian Wells and Miami, respectively, defeating two top-10 players. Gilles Simon was the winner in Pune, at the beginning of the season, and Delbonis a semifinalist in Buenos Aires. Roberto Carballes Baena won the title in Quito passing through the qualifying.

Joao Sousa of Portugal returns a ball to Bjorn Fratangelo of US during the Millennium Estoril Open 1st round tennis tournament in Estoril, outskirts of Lisbon, Portugal on May 2, 2017. Bjorn Fratangelo of US won 6-3, 6-4. (Photo by Pedro Fiúza/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Joao Sousa of Portugal returns a ball to Bjorn Fratangelo of US during the Millennium Estoril Open 1st round tennis tournament in Estoril, outskirts of Lisbon, Portugal on May 2, 2017. Bjorn Fratangelo of US won 6-3, 6-4. (Photo by Pedro Fiúza/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Wildcards

The first announced wildcard for the tournament is Alex de Minaur. The young Australian reached the semifinals in Brisbane and lost in the final of Sydney. The 19 years old player won the Australian Open 2018 Wildcard Playoff and reached the junior final in Wimbledon back in 2016. 

Entry list

The rankings on the entry list may not coincide with the ones on the rest of the article. The previously used rankings are the actual rankings of the players and the next ones which will appear are the rankings when the entry list came out, on 19th March. This is the entry list for the Millennium Estoril Open 2018:

  1. Kevin Anderson, 8th 
  2. Pablo Carreno Busta, 19th
  3. Nick Kyrgios, 20th
  4. Albert Ramos Viñolas, 24th
  5. Kyle Edmund, 26th
  6. Gilles Muller, 28th
  7. David Ferrer, 35th
  8. Robin Haase, 44th
  9. Leonardo Mayer, 45th
  10. Benoit Paire, 47th
  11. Daniil Medvedev, 52nd
  12. Tennys Sandgren, 58th
  13. Frances Tiafoe, 63rd
  14. Nicolas Jarry, 65th
  15. Federico Delbonis, 67th
  16. Stefanos Tsitsipas, 70th
  17. Gilles Simon, 72nd
  18. Roberto Carballes Baena, 78th
  19. João Sousa, 80th
  20. Alex de Minaur [WC], 130th
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