Week in Preview: Djokovic, Thiem lead a Masters-worthy field in Vienna

Week in Preview: Djokovic, Thiem lead a Masters-worthy field in Vienna

Looking ahead at this week’s two ATP events.

It’s another men’s-only week, as this year’s make-it-up-as-you-go season continues. But just because there are a smaller number of tournaments doesn’t mean there are a smaller number of top players ready to play them. Here’s a look ahead at a strong draw in Vienna, and another in Nur-Sultan.


Erste Bank Open

Vienna
$2,000,000; ATP 500

Indoor hard court
Draw is here

Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Diego Schwartzman, Gael Monfils, Denis Shapovalov: The 500-level event in Vienna has a field worthy of a Masters 1000. In fact, in the case of Djokovic, the tournament is robbing next week’s Masters event in Bercy of one of its marquee names. With the ATP allowing players to keep their ranking points from 2019, the world No. 1, who is the defending champion in Bercy, has logically elected to try to pick up points in Vienna instead.

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With only a few more weeks to go in an already drastically shortened season, Djokovic has high-level company here. Thiem, Tsitsipas and Medvedev will want to build momentum for the ATP Finals in London, while Rublev, Schwartzman, Monfils and Shapovalov are in the running for the last two open spots of the season-ending championships.

Great first-round matches abound in this compact, 32-player draw: Djokovic vs. Filip Krajinovic, Thiem vs. Nishikori, Tsitsipas vs. Jan-Lennard Struff, Medvedev vs. Alex de Minaur, Monfils vs. Pablo Carreño Busta, Jannik Sinner vs. Casper Ruud and Grigor Dimitrov vs. Karen Khachanov. Good enough?


Astana Open

Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan
$337,000; ATP 250

Indoor hard court
Draw is here

The week’s smaller second event is headlined by Benoit Paire, and features a few opening-round matches that will be of interest to U.S. fans: Francis Tiafoe vs. Corentin Moutet; Tommy Paul vs. Stefano Travaglia; Mackenzie McDonald vs. Alexander Bublik; Tennys Sandgren vs. Jiri Vesely.