Jannik Sinner sets out to bag Sofia Open hat-trick

Delight for Jannik Sinner

World No 10 Jannik Sinner is the top seed and defending champion at the Sofia Open this week and he will be out to make it three in a row in the Bulgarian capital.

Sinner will enjoy a bye into the Round of 16 where he will face either Portugal’s Nuno Borges or lucky loser Mirza Basic.

He didn’t drop a set in Sofia in 2021 and would be delighted to protect his rankings points and also make a push towards reaching the ATP Tour Finals in Turin.

Sinner is currently 14th on the Race to Turin standings but he can close the gap to the top seven most of whom aren’t in action this week.

World No 2 Casper Ruud is the only member of the that top seven entered into an event this week, being the top seed in Seoul.

Sinner has a good record indoors but the field in Sofia will make a threepeat a stiff task to pull off.

The 21-year-old Italian is fourth on the ATP Tour’s year-to-date win index heading into the Sofia Open.

Home favourite Grigor Dimitrov will be one of the big threats to Sinner’s hopes of a third straight title.

Dimitrov has suffered from inconsistency this season, putting in his best showing in Monaco some months back but he has three ATP Tour indoor titles to his name and playing for the home crowd will give him a bit of extra impetus.

The home hero will face either Sweden’s Mikael Ymer or World No 71 Ilya Ivashka in the second round.

Sinner’s fellow NextGen stars Lorenzo Musetti and Holger Rune are also out to add to their maiden ATP Tour titles achieved during the current term and have the benefit of being seeded fourth and fifth respectively.

While Musetti will enjoy a bye into the Round of 16, Rune will take on Dutchman Tim van Rijthoven in the first round in what will be his Sofia Open debut.

Musetti will meet the winner of the first round match between Bulgarian wildcard Alexander Lazarov and Czech youngster Jiri Lehecka

Montreal Masters champion Pablo Carreno Busta is the fourth man enjoying a bye into the second round and is on the opposite end of the draw to Sinner but could be the biggest threat to his title.

Carreno Busta returns to competitive action for the first time since the US Open and his first opponent will be determined by the Round 1 clash between Swiss Marc-Andrea Huesler and French qualifier Geoffrey Blancaneaux.

Liek Sinner, Carreno Busta must be harbouring ambitions of pressing for a place in the ATP Tour Finals; he currently occupies 12th spot on the Race standings.

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