The 24th edition of the ATP 250 tournament in St. Petersburg will be held at the Sibur Arena and the organizers have gathered some high-quality players who will compete for the title and one of the richest prize money on the Tour at this level.
Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Richard Krajicek, Marat Safin, Gustavo Kuerten, Andy Murray, Marin Cilic, Milos Raonic and Alexander Zverev have all won the title here in the past it was Dominic Thiem who joined the list last September, claiming the first and so far the only indoor title in a career.
The Austrian will not be there to defend the crown between September 16-22, leaving the young home stars Karen Khachanov and Daniil Medvedev as the top-ranked competitors in the draw. Both Karen and Daniil have cracked the top-10 this year, playing rock-solid tennis and improving their tennis on a regular basis to join the group of the world's leading players.
Borna Coric is the only remaining top-20 in the draw so far, followed by a former finalist Stan Wawrinka (lost to Zverev in 2016 to hand the German his first ATP crown) and an in-form Italian Matteo Berrettini who should be among title favorites as well if he brings his best tennis.
Laslo Djere completes the top-40 list and the other players will hope for a good draw to avoid the favorites in the first rounds and reach at least the last eight. Tomas Berdych, Ricardas Berankis, Alexander Bublik, Marton Fucsovics, Miomir Kecmanovic, Mikhail Kukushkin and former finalists Joao Sousa and Martin Klizan are in contention as well, seeking 250 points late in the season and the best possible position before the last ATP tournaments in October.
The Russians have not won the title here since 2004 and Medvedev and Khachanov will give their best to change that and keep the trophy in the country for the first time in 15 years.