Full Draw Here: ATP Stockholm 2012 Draw
The If Stockholm Open is one of three indoor ATP 250 tournaments this week. Winners have included Roger Federer and David Nalbandian while the home players have enjoyed major success here with the likes of Stefan Edberg, Bjorn Borg, Mats Wilander and Thomas Johansson all being successful here. Johansson is heavily involved with the tournament here, being the tournament director.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will be hoping to continue his recent good form, having made back to back finals (going 1-1) before his quarter final exit in Shanghai. He has the opportunity to possibly face two qualifiers in his first two matches. Go Soeda will need to defeat a qualifier to face Tsonga while Sergiy Stakhovsky also starts his tournament against a qualifier. The winner will face Paul Henri-Mathieu or Feliciano Lopez. This will be their 10th meeting, with Mathieu possessing the slight edge with 5 victories including Rotterdam this year.
After a so-so year to date, Florian Mayer finally found some success on hard courts as he made the semi final of Beijing. However, there is no denying that the draw was extremely kind to get him there. He withdrew in Shanghai with a rib injury so there is still potential he may not be fully fit here. Whether Albert Ramos or Richard Berankis can do enough to take advantage is questionable though. Ramos has been struggling badly throughout the hard court season while Berankis hasn’t done much to develop on his North American form. He did make the quarter finals of St Petersburg but can thank successive retirements for his spot there. Jan Hajek will be hoping to extend his record over Alejandro Falla to 3-1 with a victory in the opening round. Hajek won the only indoor encounter at the Rennes challenger last year. Either David Goffin or Marcos Baghdatis await in round two for the winner. This should be an intriguing encounter with the highly rated Goffin continuing to improve while Baghdatis is capable of brilliance on his day and often finds success indoors, going 6-2 this year.
Jarkko Nieminen seems to perform much better on indoor courts than anything else and so could be a dark horse here. He was a losing finalist last year and has made quarter finals at three of the four tournaments he has entered indoors this year. He begins against Tobias Kamke who he has a 3-0 record against, including twice in this very tournament. Kamke has had indoor success of his own, taking the Petange challenger title in Luxembourg a few weeks back. Wildcard Lleyton Hewitt hasn’t had much success outside of the slams and Olympics this year and will find it tough against the big serving Kevin Anderson. Anderson lost to eventual finalist Gael Monfils here last year and aside from him, all his recent indoor defeats have been against other big serving players including Milos Raonic and Juan Martin Del Potro. Two qualifiers face off for the opportunity to face wildcard/third seed Nicolas Almagro.
Tomas Berdych is the second top ten player appearing here and should fancy his chances of meeting top seed Tsonga in the final. With an 8-1 record on the year indoors, losing to just Juan Martin Del Potro, the Czech is more than capable and this should provide good practice for the Davis up final which is being played on indoor courts. He opens against either Jurgen Zopp or Pablo Andujar. Andujar continues to struggle off of clay and has now lost six of his last seven matches, most recently to Grigor Dimitrov. Meanwhile, Zopp hasn’t played since St Petersburg where he was forced to retire in the second round. Swedish wildcard Patrik Rosenholm should be easy work for Gael Monfils. Rosenholm is ranked 438th in the world and is yet to play a main tour match. The defending champion has a potentially tricky second round match though, taking on the winner of Mikhail Youzhny and Brian Baker. Playing here over home tournament Moscow suggests that Youzhny must fancy his chances more here and should be confident of defeating Baker who appears to ran out of gas this latter part of the year, winning just two main tour matches since his dream run at Wimbledon.
Finals Prediction – Jo Wilfried Tsonga defeats Tomas Berdych