Sonego Lands In Tricky Section Of Parma Draw
Top seed Lorenzo Sonego landed in a tricky quarter of the Emilia-Romagna Open when the ATP 250 draw was revealed on Friday, a section loaded with experienced clay-court players and in-form #NextGenATP stars.
Sonego has often found his best tennis on Italian soil, and he will be seeking his third tour-level title in the northern city of Parma. He won hearts in Rome with an inspired run to his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia (l. Djokovic) with wins over Andrey Rublev and Dominic Thiem. Earlier in the year in Cagliari, he also became the first Italian in 15 years to win a title at home.
The top seed, who returned to his career-high of No. 28 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, could face Italian veteran Andreas Seppi or 20-year-old Sebastian Korda in the second round. Korda isn’t the only #NextGenATP star in Sonego’s section, as he could also face 19-year-old countryman Lorenzo Musetti in the quarter-finals. Musetti is set to take on Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semi-finals of Lyon.
Fourth seed Jan-Lennard Struff, sixth seed Tommy Paul and eighth seed Yoshihito Nishioka are also in Sonego’s half of the draw. Lefty Nishioka, who landed in Sonego’s quarter, will start against Sam Querrey.
Benoit Paire is the second seed, and he anchors a wide-open bottom half that includes all four qualifiers (to be placed). In the second round, the Frenchman could face either Marbella finalist Jaume Munar or a qualifier.
Fifth seeded Richard Gasquet is a potential quarter-final opponent for Paire. Gasquet will begin his Parma campaign against a qualifier, and could face countryman Gilles Simon or another qualifier in the second round.
Estoril champion Albert Ramos-Vinolas, the third seed, will face either 22-year-old Emil Ruusuvuori or a qualifier in the second round, and could meet seventh seed Aljaz Bedene, who starts against Italian Salvatore Caruso, in the quarter-finals.
Also in this section, one of the first-round matches to watch includes a battle between Frances Tiafoe and Italian wild card Marco Cecchinato. The pair recently faced off in the first round of Mutua Madrid Open qualifying, with Cecchinato claiming a straight-sets victory en route to the main draw.