There's been a lot of anxiety among the tennis fans who like to watch the Millennium Estoril Open. After some rumors saying Novak Djokovic could play at Estoril and after the tournament director contacting his team, it's official that Novak will not play in the Portuguese tournament.
A lot of last minute withdrawals affected the entry list of the ATP 250 tournament held in Portugal and the wildcards to both main draw and qualifying draw were decided just today afternoon.
The first wildcard to the Millennium Estoril Open 2018, Alex de Minaur, was announced during the tournament presentation, one month ago. The two remaining wildcards had to wait until today's afternoon to know they would play in the main draw. They are Pedro Sousa and Frederico Silva, two Portuguese players.
Pedro Sousa is currently ranked 118th on ATP and his career-best ranking is 102nd, in last September. The Portuguese athlete is playing the tournament's main draw, where he reached the second round last year, for the third time. Sousa has a win-loss record of 3-7 this season, but last year he climbed almost 90 spots in the rankings and ended the season with a win-loss record of 44-18. He won three ATP Challenger Tour titles in 2017 and reached one final, one semifinal and three quarterfinals. Last week, he retired from his quarterfinals match in an ATP Challenger Tour tournament against his compatriot João Domingues, due to an abdominal injury.
Frederico Silva has a career-best ranking of 231st on ATP and this week he stands on the 289th place. The 23-year-old player struggled with an injury at the end of 2017 season and now he is coming back playing his best tennis. In 2018 he has a win-loss record of 23-3. Silva won three ITF Futures, one of $25.000 and two of $15.000.
Being the $25.000 one part of the Cascais NextGen Tour - a sequence of ITF Futures tournaments which prepare the Millennium Estoril Open in Portugal. Frederico won the Road to Millennium Estoril Open, which gives an Estoril Open qualifying wildcard to the Portuguese player who collected the most points at the Cascais NextGen Tour, but as the player was awarded a wildcard to the main draw, the qualifying wildcard goes to the second player with most points, Tiago Cação. At the last year's edition of the Portuguese tournament, Frederico Silva outlasted Denis Istomin in straight sets 6-2 6-2 and lost to David Ferrer in the second round.
The qualifying draw is already out and the schedule of play is now known. Tim Smyczek leads the players' field and Corentin Moutet is the second highest ranked player playing the qualifying. Simone Bolleli will play and face the young star Felix Auger-Aliassime as the sixth seed Stephane Robert will try to beat the Portuguese João Monteiro.
Francisco Cabral and Tiago Cação are the wildcards and they're going to face the first seed Smyczek and Jaume Munar, respectively. Alexander Bublik faces Ricardo Ojeda Lara and the former ATP World Tour finalist Fred Gil will play against Kenny de Schepper. The fifth seed is Alessandro Giannessi and he's getting ready to play João Domingues, who passed through the qualifying and beat Kyle Edmund on the first round, losing to Kevin Anderson on the second one in three tough sets, in last year's edition of the tournament. Salvatore Caruso plays Corentin Moutet.
Here is the qualifying draw of the Millennium Estoril Open 2018:
Order of play
The matches are going to start at 12 pm local time at the Estádio Millennium, Court Cascais and Court 3.
The first match on the Stadium Millennium is featured by João Domingues and Alessandro Giannessi. After them, João Monteiro will face Stephane Robert and Simone Bolelli will play Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Tim Smyczek and Francisco Cabral will face off to start the day on Court Cascais. Following them, Fred Gil will play against Kenny de Schepper and Tiago Cação will fight to make his wildcard worth in front of Jaume Munar.
There are only two matches to be featured on the Court 3. Corentin Moutet will face Salvatore Caruso and Alexander Bublik is playing Ricardo Ojeda Lara.
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