As you can tell by the title of this post, I am very excited for the first ever Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) tour event being held in Serbia! The Serbia Open will begin tomorrow, Saturday May 2 with the qualifying rounds. There will be 32 men competing in the singles and 16 doubles teams competing for the title. This is a new ATP tour event.
It is certainly not Wimbledon or the US Open, as it is classified as a “250 series” which means that it is in the lowest tier of tourneys on the ATP tour. The 250 means the winner will get 250 points. The winner will also win 73, 000 Euros, which is almost $100,000. Not bad for a week’s work. Second place earns half of that. Even though it is not a high profile tour event, I am still looking forward to it because it is here. Nadia and I purchased tickets for the finals and are arranging for a babysitter.
It might as well be called the Novak Djokovic Open as he was the driving force behind getting the tourney here in Belgrade. He is also by far, the highest rank player in the tourney. There are two other events the same week, both 250 series, in Munich, Germany and Estoril, Portugal. Novak is currently ranked #3 in the world and the next highest ranked player competing in the open is Radek Stepanek who is ranked #19. Djokovic is 3- 1 against Stepanek in his career .
“Nole” as they call Djokovic here in Serbia is defending his title this week at the Masters Series tourney in Rome. He is a better player on hard courts, but has won three ATP titles on clay. This week he is defending his clay court title at the Rome Open, which is a Masters Series event. He is having a good run lately, destroying Tommy Robredo yesterday, 6-1, 6-1 to move to the quarterfinals in Rome. Things are looking up for him to win his Serbia Open. We shall see.
There are two other ranked Serbians in the singles draw, #40 Victor Troicki and #65 Janko Tipsarevic. I will be posting updates all week as the tourney gets underway.