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Ricky’s Preview and Tennis Picks for this Week’s ATP 250 Tournament in Stockholm

Jannik Sinner of Italy in action during his second-round match against Carlos Alcaraz of Spain at the Rolex Paris Masters tennis tournament in Paris, France, 03 November 2021. EPA-EFE/YOAN VALAT.

By Ricky Dimon

It’s the week in between the Paris Masters and Nitto ATP Finals, but instead of an idle period on tour the Stockholm Open has been rescheduled for later in the fall than usual. The final 250-point tournament of the season is a good one, too, featuring the likes of Jannik Sinner, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov, Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe, and Andy Murray.

Stockholm Open

Where: Stockholm, Sweden
Surface: Indoor hard
Prize money
: 635,750 Euros
: 250

Top seed: Jannik Sinner
Defending champion: Denis Shapovalov

Draw analysis: Sinner may be the No. 1 seed, but the draw certainly did not do him any favors. The Italian’s opening match will likely be against Andy Murray and Fritz is a potential quarterfinal foe. Also in the top half of the bracket are Tiafoe, Dan Evans, and Emil Ruusuvuori. Although Sinner’s road looks like a rocky one, he has been in outstanding form on indoor hard courts this fall. The world No. 9 just barely missed out on qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals, which means this is his final event of the year and can put everything into it.

Auger-Aliassime and Shapovalov are on a semifinal collision course on the other side, but don’t expect an all-Canadian contest to come to fruition. Both players are slumping, so it may not matter that they have much friendlier draws than Sinner. Don’t be surprised if a red-hot Botic Van de Zandschulp takes out Auger-Aliassime in the quarters, while Shapovalov could be challenged by either Alexander Bublik, Arthur Rinderknech, or Marcos Giron in the last eight.

First-round upset chance: Arthur Rinderknech over (6) Alexander Bublik. You never know what kind of Bublik is going to show up on any given day, so this match is basically a 50/50 proposition–in other words, a solid chance of an upset. Rinderknech is wrapping up his breakout season on tour, while Bublik has cooled off a bit since a strong summer.

Quarterfinal picks: Jannik Sinner over Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe over Mackenzie McDonald, Marcos Giron over Denis Shapovalov, and Botic Van de Zandschulp over Felix Auger-Aliassime

Semifinals: Sinner over Tiafoe and Van de Zandschulp over Giron

Final: Sinner over Van de Zandschulp

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.