Tournament 30 Dec 2019

Stacked Qualifying draw for ASB Classic Men’s Week

by Rhonda Karl
Stacked Qualifying draw for ASB Classic Men’s Week

The ASB Classic Men’s qualifying draw will be the strongest yet with ten players inside the world’s top 100, including defending ASB Classic champion Tennys Sandgren, former champion Philipp Kohlschreiber, last years 3rd seed Marco Cecchinato as well as ATP Next Gen Finals stars Mikael Ymer and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

With the main draw cut off at 62, 2019 champion Tennys Sandgren will have to take the longer road if he’s to defend his title. Currently ranked no. 68 in the world, the American achieved his career best ranking of no. 41 after he won in Auckland this year. He’ll need to come with the same form in 2020 to make it deep in the tournament this time round.

German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber turned pro in 2001 and has captured 8 ATP titles in his career, including Auckland in 2008. The 36-year-old hit his best form on tour in 2012, reaching a career high ranking of No. 16 and we saw glimpses of that again this season. Kohlschreiber beat world No. 1 Novak Djokovic at Indian Wells to make the round of 16, reached the semi-final of the ASB Classic by dispatching world no. 12 Fabio Fognini and made another quarter-final in Munich earlier this year.

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One year ago, Italian Marco Cecchinato was the talk of the town after winning his first two ATP titles in Umag and Budapest. The 27-year-old claimed one of the biggest upsets of the 2018 season, by beating Novak Djokovic in four sets at Roland Garros to become the first Italian man to reach a Grand Slam semi-final since 1978. These results saw the Italian break inside the top 20, with a career best ranking of No. 16 at the start of 2019.

One of the most exciting prospects on tour is 21-year-old Swede Mikael Ymer. He’s riding high after breaking inside the top 100 for the first time in September and rising to his career best ranking of 73. Likewise, Davidovich Fokina is one of the highly touted youngers on the ATP Tour.  The Spaniard played alongside Ymer at the ATP Next Gen Finals last month and has already captured some impressive wins over the likes of Gael Monfils, Jeremy Chardy and Taylor Fritz.  These two youngsters have established themselves as genuine top ten prospects as they follow in the footsteps of the likes of Shapovalov, Khachanov and Medvedev.

“This is an incredibly strong qualifying field.  This is as good as a lot of 250 level events main draw.  Grand Slam semi-finalists, former champions and some genuinely exciting talent.  I can’t wait to watch Ymer play.  He is a player for the future for sure” said ASB Classic Tournament Director Karl Budge.

ASB Classic Men’s Qualifying stars on the Saturday 11 January. 

2020 ASB Classic Men’s Qualifying List

1)      Pablo Andujar (64)

2)      Tennys Sandgren (68)

3)      Marco Checchinato (71)

4)      Mikael Ymer (74)

5)      Hugo Dellien (75)

6)      Philipp Kohlschreiber (79)

7)      Corentin Moutet (83)

8)      Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (87)

9)      Thiago Monteiro (89)

10)  Leonardo Mayer (92)

11)  MacKenzie McDonald (129)

12)  Tatsuma Ito (147)

13)  Vasek Pospisil (149)

14)  Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (165)

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