2017 VTB Kremlin Cup runner-up Ricardas Berankis has entered this year's Moscow main draw as a lucky loser. World No. 42 Jeremy Chardy withdrew late from the tournament due to a leg injury. The Frenchman was drawn to meet Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin in the Moscow first round.
The 31-year-old will be replaced by former world No. 50 Berankis. Berankis, now ranked at No. 107 in the world, failed to make the Moscow main draw through the qualifying event. The Lithuanian beat Slovenian Blaz Kavcic in the Moscow qualifying first round, before losing to Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik in the qualifying final round.
Berankis, who debuted in Moscow five years ago, is now set to make his sixth consecutive main draw appearance in Moscow. The 28-year-old fell just short of making it all the way in Moscow last year as he ended runner-up to Bosnian Damir Dzumhur in the Moscow final.
The Lithuanian was bidding to win his maiden ATP title. Berankis also reached the Moscow quarter-final four years ago as a qualifier. Back then, the Lithuanian won three qualifying matches to reach the Moscow main draw -- where he beat Aslan Karatsev in the first round and Milos Raonic in the round-of-16, before losing to Roberto Bautista Agut.
Berankis and Istomin will be meeting for the second time in their respective careers when they meet in the Moscow first round as the Lithuanian won the first-ever encounter between the two five years ago in Nice Also read: I highly doubt I will play the 2019 Davis Cup, says Roger Federer