The ATP Challenger Tour stops by in Nur-Sultan this week with 13 of the world’s top-200 players featuring at the…
The ATP Challenger Tour stops by in Nur-Sultan this week with 13 of the world’s top-200 players featuring at the Challenger 80 event.
Staged on the indoor hard courts of the National Tennis Centre in the Kazakh capital, Nur-Sultan (formerly called Astana), the tournament is in its second year, and boasts a decent field that includes defending champion, Ilya Marchenko, former top-50 player, Robin Haase and rising star, Jurij Rodionov.
20-year-old Rodionov arrives Nur-Sultan in great form, having won Challenger titles in Dallas and Morelos in February, and made a semi-final in Columbus. The German began the season just inside the world’s top-300, but he’s currently operating at a career-high ranking of 168th, and looks set to have another big week in Kazakhstan.
Rodionov is seeded fourth in the tournament, which is led by the very experienced Egyptian, Mohammed Safwat.
The 29-year-old claimed his maiden Challenger title in Launceston at the start of February, becoming the first Egyptian to win a title in over two decades. Safwat is the top seed at a Challenger event for the first time in his career. Apart from his Launceston success, Safwat has competed in a couple of ATP Tour main draws this year. He qualified for the Australian Open but lost to Gregoire Barrere in the first round, while he also exited Dubai in the first round, losing to Philipp Kohlschreiber.
One of Safwat’s main challengers is second seed, Yannick Maden, who will attempt to go one step better than his runner-up finish in the inaugural edition in 2019. Maden fell just short against Marchenko in last year’s final, losing in three after taking the opening set. The 30-year-old former top-100 player has not done much since then, and has slipped to 149th in the rankings. Maden has made just one Challenger quarter final this season, in Koblenz, where he was beaten by Dutchman, Botic Van De Zandschulp.
Defending champion, Marchenko is still very much in the process of rebuilding his ranking following a lengthy injury absence- he missed the first five months of 2018 and the first three months of 2019- and after sliding out of the top 1000 in September 2018, he did pretty well to get back into the top-300 by the end of 2019. The former world No. 49 is currently 209th in the world, and already has a Challenger title from Bergamo this year.
Also playing in Nur-Sultan is fifth seed, Robin Haase, a former world No. 33 who is now outside the top-100 following a disappointing 2019, while young guns, Elias Ymer, Tallon Griekspoor and Roman Safiullin are also worth keeping a very close eye on.
How to watch ATP Nur-Sultan
Bookmakers bet365 have the rights to stream Nur-Sultan Challenger matches live alongside live odds and in-play betting. All Nur-Sultan Challenger matches, including qualifying and doubles, are streamed live via bet365 and all that is required to enjoy the tennis live is to be a bet365 customer with a funded account.
As such all you need to do to access all Nur-Sultan Challenger streams is to go to the bet365 website, open an account and deposit £5 or more in your account. This will enable you to watch and bet on all Nur-Sultan Challenger matches.
ATP Nur-Sultan Tournament Information
Tournament Name: Nur-Sultan Challenger
Date: 9-15 March, 2020
Location: Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan
Surface: Indoor Hard Courts
Category: ATP Challenger 80
Draw Size: 48 Singles (16 Doubles)
Prize Money: $54,160
Defending Champion: Ilya Marchenko
ATP Nur-Sultan 2020 Seeds
|8||Botic van de Zandschulp||177|
|12||Federico Ferreira Silva||190|
|16||Bernabe Zapata Miralles||216|