Prestigious award to If Stockholm Open, Tournamnet of the Year 2016
The ATP has announced the Tournaments of the Year in the 2016 ATP World Tour Awards presented by Moët & Chandon is If Stockholm Open and Winston-Salem Open as the most favoured ATP World Tour events in their respective tournament categories.
The Tournament of the Year awards, voted annually by ATP players, recognise the leading standards set across the three tournament categories on the Tour.
For the second successive year and the fifth time overall (since 1986), two events have been named joint winners in the ATP World Tour 250 category. The If Stockholm Open hosted its 48th edition in October, while the Winston-Salem Open was held in August for the sixth year running.
“Considering all the great tournaments across the globe, we are so honoured to win the ATP World Tour 250 Tournament of the Year,” said Simon Aspelin, the If Stockholm Open Tournament Director. “It's a great achievement and a credit to the tournament organisation, the Royal Tennis Club of Stockholm, our sponsors and our volunteers. On behalf of the organization I would like to say thank you to all the players voting for our tournament and giving us the best feedback we could wish for.”
Juan Martin del Potro was too tough for the American Jack Sock today. The Argentine won the final by 7-5 6-1 in front of a full stadium.
Juan Martin del Potro got to lift the trophy at the Royal. Tennis Hall. The 198 cm tall Argentine, who received a wild card to the tournament, has dominated with his forehand during the week and that’s what he did today as well. After the match he got credit from his opponent. - He played very well so it was tough for me today. He served very well, tough to read. He could hold his serve pretty easy and that put more pressure on my serve games, said Jack Sock. The Argentine hasn’t been able to play as much as he would have liked in recent years because of injuries. His last title came 2014 in Sydney. - I've tried to be healthy for a few years and did not expect to win a title here. This win is important for the motivation to continue in the future. He still can’t play his backhand for full but think that he has developed his game thanks to that. - I think I'm playing good tennis with my slice and drop shots. I'm enjoying my time on court.
With the victory, he leveled the head to head statistic against Jack Sock to 1-1. He likes being in Stockholm and during the press conference he opened the door to come back. - If I get a wild card again next year I will, he said and laughed.
The doubles tournament got a Swedish winnng team in brothers Mikael and Elias Ymer. After winning the final by 6-1 6-1 to Mate Pavic and Michael Venus they could receive their first trophy on the ATP tour in front of the home crowd.
The doubles story began a week ago when Mikael and Elias Ymer sat in the restaurant and the tournament organizers told them they had received a wild card to the doubles main draw.
- We want to thank Simon and Christer for giving us the chance, said Michael Ymer in his speech after the game.
Last time a Swedish team won If Stockholm Open was in 1998 when Nicklas Kulti and Mikael Tillström stood as champions. That the next one would come this week didn’t probably anyone think. In the first round Mikael and Elias saved three match points and in the second match they saved one. Before the final the brothers didn’t feel any pressure.
- We actually said nothing to each other before the game. We did warm up and listened to music in the gym. We felt we had a good chance, we have raised our game every match during the week, says Elias.
Their different roles on the court have become clear during the week and they both feel that they complete each other very well.
- I like to be on the net and play volley so Elias has stayed at the baseline, said Mikael and his older brother Elias agreed.
- We fit well together and today everything worked. Serve, volley and returns. They couldn’t play serve volley at us because we played the ball down on their feet all the time. Sometimes you have a day like this, and today it was mine and Michael's, says Elias.
With the doubles title the brothers have written their names in the history books for all time. And that the first title came here in Stockholm felt extra special for them.
- If Stockholm Open is my favourite tournament. Every time we go into the Royal. Tennis Hall from now on we will see our names Mikael and Elias Ymer on the wall. I’m going to be proud every time I see that, says Elias.
Jack Sock was a too tough opponent for Alexander Zverev when the American won the tournament's best match 6-7 7-6 6-4.
The crowd got value for their money on Saturday when they first got to see del Potro – Dimitrov, and then Zverev - Sock. The latter match lasted for two hours and 48 minutes. The players, who played against each other two weeks ago in Beijing – Zverev winner that time – played long rallies and showed varied emotions on court. - It was a very good match, we both had chances. It was great tennis, Sock said to the press afterwards. The American, who is ranked 23 in the world, was reached the final in Stockholm last year as well and he has just positive comments about the tournament. - I love Stockholm. It’s a very hospital tournament. They do such a great job making you feel right at home for sure. He won his first ATP-title in Houston last year. On clay that time and Sock think it’s positive that it is slow conditions here in the Royal. Tennis Hall. - The court is slow and the balls become fluffy pretty quickly and I like it so it helps of course. In the final tomorrow he plays Juan Martin del Potro. He hopes for a different outcome than last year, when he lost to Tomas Berdych, but believe that the match will be tough. - He is a very good tennis player and has been playing great this week. Obviously he hasn’t had the easiest of opponents and he has taken care of the business pretty well. He is serving well and has a big forehand so I’m definitely going to try in his serve games the best I can and then take care of my serve.
When Juan Martin del Potro entered this years edition of If Stockholm Open he did not yet know how it feels to win a game in The Royal Tennis Hall. Tomorrow he will play his first ATP-final since January 2014 when he won his 18th title.
No matter the outcome I’m certain that del Potro will be back in the top 10 as soon as next year. Provided that the wrist injury that plagued him won’t show its ugly face again.
Del Potro has developed his repertoire during the years of playing injured and now plays a lot smarter then before. When he gains enough strength in his wrist to hit a winning backhand he will be a better player than the del Potro that won the US Open in 2009.
Next year del Potro will be one of the fiercest competitors to Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray for the most recognizable awards.
This year he needed a wild card to play in the tournament. That will not be necessary if he comes back next year.
On Friday he won the clash against Croatian Ivo Karlovic 6-3 6-4.
Many have guessed Olympic silver medalist Juan Martin del Potro as the final winner of this year's If Stockholm Open, and so far the Argentine hasn’t made anyone disappointed. The match against the 211 cm Ivo Karlovic was over in an hour and eleven minutes and del Potro was solid throughout the match.
The Argentine had a bit of trouble with his legs during the warm-up. - I don’t know what happened. I was just a little cold and needed to wake up. It was very early for me, he said during the press conference.
In the semifinal he meets Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov. The head2head stats is 3-0 for the Argentine.
Jack Sock is through to the quarterfinals after win against Dustin Brown in three sets 7-6 (5) 4-6 6-4.
There were numerous spectacular rallies during the match and both players showed the crowed some serious trick shots on the centre court at the Royal. Tennis Hall.
- That's how he plays and what I expected but it still chocks you sometimes when he comes up with an incredible shot, said a relieved Jack Sock after the game.
The American, who played 15 games the previous two weeks in China took an injury timeout during the match, for pain in his arm.
- The arm I all good. I just need some rest, said Sock who is ranked no 22 at the moment.
In the quarterfinals he’ll face the Portuguese Gastao Elias, who surprised everyone earlier tonight when he knocked out first seed Gael Monfils.
- His favourite surface is clay and it's quite a slow hardcourt here so it's probably the closest to clay you get indoors. Hopefully I can go out and dictate with my forehand, said Sock who was runner up here last year.
Which victory gesture did Gastao Elias show the Royal Tennis Hall audience after his huge upset against first seed and world no 7 Gael Monfils?
A Ronaldojump of course! – I had promised a friend to do it if I won, said the 61-ranked Elias after his first win against a top ten player.
The best player he previously defeated was 20-ranked Pablo Cuevas and Elias doesn’t make it a secret that he in the end of tonight’s match started to think that he had a big upset within reach. After 7-6 in first set he lost two match points at 5-1. – I was really nervous in the end when I realised I had the chance to win. The best players can put those feelings aside and don’t get nervous, said the man that already this summer introduced himself to the Swedish crowed when he in Båstad reached semifinl in SkiStar Swedish Open Next year Swedish tennis might get to know him even better.
If the Swedish Davis Cup-team manage to stay in World Group 1 (they have to win over Israel next weekend) Portugal waits in first round 2017. – I guess I’ve to promise not to play as good as tonight, Elias said with a laugh. In the quarterfinal he’ll face the winner of Jack Sock and Dustin Brown
On Thursday Grigor Dimitrov won easily against qualifier Jurgen Zopp 6-3 6-2. In the quaterfinal he will face Kevin Anderson.
Grigor Dimitrov and If Stockholm Open are a good combination. The Bulgarian won the tournament 2013 and reached the final 2014. On Thursday he played his first match in this years tournament and it was a relaxed Dimitrov the crowd got to see. He varied his game with dropshots, lobs, volley and slice. He won first set 6-3, and after an early break in the second, it was no doubt about the outcome.
The Bulgarian needed 1 hour and 15 minutes to advance to the quarterfinal. After the game he talked positive about the surface. More about that - and other comments - coming soon here on the website.
Ymer brothers booked a spot in the doubles semifinal when they saved a match point and won against Lipsky/Fleming.
An hour and a half after Mikael Ymer’s loss to Ivo Karlovic he walked out on court 1 to play doubles together with his brother Elias. The couple, who plays their first ATP doubles tournament, took an early lead and showed the crowed that their Monday win wasn’t a coincidence. They won the first set by 6-3 and it all looked like it was going to be a two-set win for the brothers.
But Lipsky/Fleming came back. They won second set 6-4 and the match had to be decided in a match tiebreak. Mikael and Elias were down 9-10 but saved the match point and turned the match around to a Swedish win 11-9.
In the semifinal they will play winner of Brunstrom/Siljestrom and Huey/Bopanna.
The upcoming star Alexander Zverev won his first match tonight and is through to quaterfinal. In less than an hour and a half he defeated Adriano mannarino 7-5 6-4.
Stjärnskottet Alexander Zverev blev i kväll klar för kvartsfinal i If Stockholm Open. På knappt en och en halv timme besegrade han Adrian Mannarino med 7-5, 6-4.
Zverev was recently first teenager since 2008 to take an ATP title (St Petersburg) and is clearly one of the biggest favorites of the tournament.
The tournament is his last this year. Together with his team, 19-year-old Zverev decided that after If Stockholm Open he will take a two-month break to prepare his body for next season.
A wise and mature decision that shows the 20-ranked German player is planning long term.
In the quaterfinal he’ll face countryman Tobias Kamke (qualifier in the first round knocked out Elias Ymer) or Radu Albot that upset the fifth-seeded Steve Johnson.
It was a David vs Goliath moment when 183 cm Mikael Ymer walked on court followed by Ivo Karlovic and his 211 cm.
del Potro came to the press conference with a humbled expression and was talking about the warmth of the audience. He made his third start at the tournament but this was his first win and he was clearly touched by the win.
Listen to our interview right here!
It was a David vs Goliath moment when 183 cm Mikael Ymer walked on court followed by Ivo Karlovic and his 211 cm.
The statistics tells the story in this match. Young Ymer managed to squeeze 5 winners on the Croatians serve and that was enough to get the break to 5-4 in the first set. Mikael kept his cool and the audience went wild when he won the set point.
Karlovic managed to turn it around a bit in the second and got the break at crucial 4-4 and got the set 6-4. Ymer fought good but couldn't convert when he had 3 break points and Karlovic is still unbeaten in Stockholm.
Jack Sock is through to second round. After being down 4-1 in deciding tiebreak he turned the match around and won 3-6 6-3 7-6(5).
It was a tough start for Sock who was broken immediately in the first set. The American, who won the doubles in Shanghai last week, lost the set but pulled him self together in the second and showed more patience in the rallies. That paid off and he leveled the match to 1-1
In the third Sock took a 4-2 lead but Jazari came back. Both players did eight aces each during the match but Sock won more points as returner. In the tiebreak he was down 4-1 but showed mental strength and managed to win with 7-5. In total Sock won 107 points and Jaziri 101.
Jaco Sock, who won the doubles last year and reached final, will play the showman Dustin Brown next round.
Elias Ymer didn’t manage to follow up little brother Mikael’s victory. The Swede lost first round to Tobias Kamke 6-4 6-0.
The match started well for Ymer who took an early lead by 4-1 against Tobias Kamke. But the lead didn’t last. At 4-4 the German broke Ymer and then won the set 6-4.
Second set started with an early break for the German and that was too much for the Swede who lost 6-0
Elias Ymer now has to focus on doubles where he plays with his brother Mikael. On Wednesday they play second round against Fleming/Lipsky.
What does the word breakthrough really mean? I looked it upp and read:
”To definitely succeed, prevail and be acknowledged”.
That is exactly what happened to a young boy from Skara today when he played in only the second ATP-tournament of his career here in If Stockholm Open.
In the ATP-ranking you’ll have to scroll down to number 549 to find Mikael Ymer and today he faced a player ranked 509 places ahead of him, a player that previously has been ranked as high as number 7 in the world.
The score? Mikael Ymer-Fernando Verdasco 6-2, 6-1.
Yes, thats right. 6-2, 6-1.
Before the game I envisioned that the defensive strong Ymer would put up a good fight against the left-handed Spaniard. But to imagine that he would actually win? No, not in my wildest dreams. Never could I imagine in what manner Mikael Ymer would dominate his opponent.
In a larger perspective, how big is Ymers upset? It’s easy to get carried away and overvalue this victory so soon after the game ended. But there is no doubt that Mikael Ymers victory is one of the biggest and most entertaining things that has happened Swedish tennis since Robin Söderling won the title at SkiStar Swedish Open 2011.
There is also no doubt that today Mikael Ymer became a household name even outside of the tennis circuit.
To gain recognition is of course an aftermath of a breakthrough.
Brown provided plenty for the hot-shots reel today when he turned it around on Muller.
Gilles Muller looked like a winner by taking the first set 64 but Dustin Brown trashed Mullers service game at 3-5 in the second where Muller was serving. Brown provided some stunning shots to break Muller and take the set.
6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to Brown who will face last years finalist, Jack Sock, or Malek Jaziri.
Nicolas Almagro is through to the second round after a tough win over Yuichi Sugita in three sets 36, 76(1), 63.
The Spaniard was not a happy ccamper on court today and collected a warning in the second set. Sugita could not take advantage of the SPaniard who's temperament was like a roller coaster, as was his game.
Almagro will now face the winner Isner - del Potro.
Mikael and Elias Ymer played their first ever doubles match together on the ATP tour and it ended in a bang.
The "Ymers" raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set before Rojer/Matkowski woke up and made it even and took it to a deciding tie-breaker. But the young brothers Ymer stod tall and clamied the first set. The second was a complete turn around and Rojer/Matkowski took it comfortably 61.
The match tiebreak was exciting and while many thought it would be over for the Swedes at 9-6 to Rojer/Matkowski the magic turn around was a fact. When Matkowski double faulted at 9-8 the players changed sides and also the number in favor of the Swedes finishing 11-9.
Anderson managed to turn it around against Baghdatis. For long Baghdatis had the upper hand and Anderson was har to recognize in the first set.
The tall Southafrican made 9 aces and is now trough to the second round where he will face Ryan Harrison.
Radu Albot upsets Steve Johnson in straight sets 63 64.
Adrian Mannarino played first match on center court and faced other lefty Donald Young where the Frenchman came out on top 75 64 and will now face fourth seed Zverev of Germany.
Radu Albot took a big scalp when defeating Steve Johnson 63 64. Albot will play the winner between Elias Ymer and Tobias Kamke.
On Sunday the qualifying finals were played and the Main Draw is therefore complete. Just like Saturday, all matches of the day were won in straight sets.
Adam Pavlasek made sure this year’s Main Draw will feature a Czech player after he beat Hungarian Marton Fucsovics 6-4, 6-3. Pavlasek will face fellow qualifier Ryan Harrison in the Main Draw. Harrison will be the fifth American in the Main Draw after he won his qualifying final against German Matthias Bachinger. The first set was a tight encounter which Harrison won in tiebreak, but the second set went smoother and in the end the American won 7-6 (4), 6-2.
Tobias Kamke also booked his spot in the Main Draw after claiming victory over fellow German Daniel Brands, 6-3, 6-2. Next up for Kamke is Sweden’s no 1 Elias Ymer.
The last match of the day was a battle of the Baltic between Jurgen Zopp of Estonia and Sweden’s Patrik Rosenholm. After previously have been given two wild cards to the Singles Main Draw, 2016 would be the year when Rosenholm would hopefully qualify for the first time. However, Zopp followed up his strong performance from yesterday against Sam Querrey and won 7-5, 6-4 against Rosenholm in a tight match on Centre Court. Zopp is looking to continue his If Stockholm Open run in his next match against German Benjamin Becker.
The second day of qualifying will feature the qualifying finals which for each winner are worth one spot in the If Stockholm Open Main Draw. On Saturday all qualifying matches were won in straight sets, will we see the first three-set match on Sunday?
The first match on Centre Court features Czech Adam Pavlasek and Marton Fucsovics of Hungary. Both had comfortable wins in the first round, Pavlasek beat promising Swede Carl Söderlund while Fucsovic only spent 46 minutes on the court in his win against Amir Weintraub of Israel.
Sunday’s second match on the Centre Court will be a battle between Estonian Jurgen Zopp and Sweden’s Patrik Rosenholm. The Swede will be looking to take advantage of extra support from his fellow countrymen in the stands, but will face a tough match against Zopp who surprisingly dismissed World no 29 Sam Querrey in straight sets on Saturday. Rosenholm has two previous starts in the Main Draw (through wild cards) and is hoping to qualify for the first time. He got off to a good start with his win against seeded Frenchman Tristan Lamasine.
On court 1 we will start the day with an all-German encounter between Tobias Kamke and Daniel Brands, followed by American Ryan Harrison against yet another German: Matthias Bachinger.
After the four qualifiers have been determined a draw will take place to decide which player the qualifiers will face in the Main Draw. However, from the draw of the Main Draw Singles tournament we already know that one of the four will face Sweden’s no 1 Elias Ymer.
Sunday is also our traditional Family Day at the If Stockholm Open with entertainment on the Centre Court, circus school, free ice-cream and other activities for all children. Free entrance all day!
Qualifying wild card Carl Söderlund lost in the opening round of Qualifying Singles against Adam Pavlasek. The promising Swede’s debut in If Stockholm Open was over in one hour and ten minutes.
The 22-year-old and World no. 87 Czech would in any case have been a very tough task for the 19-year-old Söderlund, and unfortunately Söderlund has not been able to prepare in the way he wished. At the beginning of the week he was ill, and two important training days were lost.
Pavlasek won 6-3, 6-2 and the young Swede simply did not have the power needed to bring the Czech under pressure. In the second set the home favorite had opportunities to break back to 2-3 as well as 3-4, but Pavlasek rose to the challenge and won comfortably in the end.
Patrik Rosenholm dismissed Tristan Lamasine in straight sets 64 63. Rosenholm now faces Zopp who defeated Querrey earlier today.
This year could be his chance to qualify for the main draw.
Today the 28-year old home town favorite defeated the French player Tristan Lamasine in two straight sets, 6-4, 6-3. He will be facing the equally aged Estonian Jurgen Zopp on Sunday.
Both times the 28-year old Rosenholm made it to the main tournament he entered on a wild card. In 2012 he surprisingly defeated the title defender Gael Monfils and two years ago he forced the Australian Bernard Tomic to a decisive set. During the four previous If Stockholm Open qualification rounds, his best achievement came three years ago when he reached the qualifying final.
At that time it took three victories in order to enter the main draw, however this year the qualifications are cut in half with only 16 players, increasing Rosenholm’s chance of qualifying for the main draw for the first time without a wild card.
In the qualifying final he will be facing Jurgen Zopp who surprisingly defeated the 29th ranked Sam Querrey – the American who missed signing up in time for the tournament, but who likes the tournament so much that he applied for the qualification round. Theoretically Zopp is an easier task for Rosenholm than Querrey would have been, but the 237th ranked Estonian is still seen as a slight favorite. He has won all of the three previous matches between the two.
World no29 Sam Querry suffered a surrprising first round loss against Jurgen Zopp in the qualification to If Stockholm Open
Querrey, 208 places ahead of Zopp on the ATP Tour ranking lost in two straight sets, 3-6, 3-6. Zopp will now face home player Patrik Rosenholm or Tristane Lamasine from France in the second round.
Patrik Rosenholm dismissed Tristan Lamasine in straight sets 64 63. Rosenholm now faces Zopp who defeated Querrey earlier today.
Olympic silvermedalist Juan Martin del Potro returns to Kungliga hallen for the first time since 2011.
– Del Potro is one of the biggest stars on ATP-tour and I´m so happy that he chooses to play If Stockholm Open, says new Tournament Director Simon Aspelin who earlier this year replaced Robin Söderling.
2009 US Open-champion del Potro and former number four on the ATP-ranking has struggled with injuries during the last years and dropped on the list. Now standing 141 the Argentine needed a wild card to the main draw.
– Six months ago I was not even playing tennis. I had been close to quitting for the last year. So it doesn’t matter if I’m top ten, top 50 or top 100. When I get on the court and see the crowd, hear them cheering for me, it’s amazing. I don’t care about the rankings or winning the tournament, says Juan Martin del Potro who play homefavourite Steve Johnson in the second round.
There will probably be many aces in The Royal Tennis Hall this fall. That's an early prediction as Isner and Karlovic joins the entrylist
Along with the world no 22 Isner 6'10" and no 23 Karlovic 6'11" the 21-ranked american Steve Johnson and 2013 champion Grigor Dimitrov will also apear in Stockholm.
Gael Monfils is still the best ranked player in the list, currently no 12 in the world.
The young German Alexander Zverev who has had a great season so far with two ATP finals, Halle and Nice, will also play in If Stockholm Open.
The spectacular Frenchman will return to If Stockholm Open this fall
The 29 year old french who won If Stockholm Open in 2012 is among a handfull of players who offers the most attractive and most spectacular tennis on the ATP Tour at the moment.
Since the past fall, Monfils is trained by Mikael Tillström and the Good to Great Academy. And the partnership seams fruitfull. Last week Monnfils reached the final in the ATP Tournamnet i Monte Carlo and since teaming upp with Tillström, Monfils, currnetly number 14 has advanced 5 places on the world rankings.
The 41 year old Swede will replace Robin Söderling, helming the Swedish ATP Tournamnet
Aspelin who has spent a few years in the sales organisation with Lagardère, the company operating If Stocholm Open since 2010, will from now act as Tournament Director.
With the former dubbelspecialist at the helm of the tournamnet Lagardère continues the tradition having a fomer tennis-great in the importatnt role. Both Thomas Johansson and Robin Söderling have preceded Aspelin who won US Open doubles in 2007 and have 12 ATP doubbles titles to his name.
"I'm honnered and happy to get to represent one of the oldest and finest ATP events on the tour as Tournamnet Director".