Alcaraz, Medvedev, Djokovic Learn Astana Fate
The 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz will begin his quest for a sixth tour-level title of season against fellow 2021 Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals competitor Holger Rune at the Astana Open in Kazakhstan.
The World No. 1, who is competing in his first singles event since winning the US Open, could face former World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka in the second round if the Swiss star can overcome Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.
In a stacked field, Daniil Medvedev is the second seed. The 26-year-old, who captured his only title of the season in Los Cabos, will play Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the first round. Felix Auger-Aliassime is seeded to meet Medvedev in the quarter-finals, with the Canadian starting against Roberto Bautista Agut.
Auger-Aliassime is currently seventh in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin and will be aiming for a deep run in Astana to boost his Nitto ATP Finals qualification chances.
Fourth seed Novak Djokovic is also in the bottom half of the draw. The Serbian will be aiming to back up his strong run in Tel Aviv with another good result in Kazakhstan. Djokovic opens against Cristian Garin and could meet sixth seed Jannik Sinner in the quarter-finals. Sinner, who is still alive in Sofia this weekend, takes on Oscar Otte in his first match.
Third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and fifth seed Andrey Rublev are both in the top half. Tsitsipas will meet Kazakhstan wild card Mikhail Kukushkin in the first round, while Rublev takes on a qualifier. Rublev is currently sixth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin and could edge closer to qualification with a deep run.