Mikael Ymer grabs wild card to join del Potro and Shapovalov in Stockholm



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Mikael Ymer grabs wild card to join del Potro and Shapovalov in Stockholm

Stockholm Open has been in the ATP calendar since 1969, mainly staged at the Kungliga Tennishallen venue and with an impressive list of champions that includes the names like Stan Smith, Arthur Ashe, John McEnroe, Bjorn Borg, Mats Wilander, Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Goran Ivanisevic, David Nalbandian, Roger Federer, Juan Martin del Potro and Tomas Berdych!

I 2018, Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Ernests Gulbis in the title match to claim the first ATP crown, gathering momentum ahead of stellar 2019 season that propelled him towards the best players in the world. Stefanos will not defend the crown between October 14-20 but the field is very strong once again, with Fabio Fognini, Juan Martin del Potro, Lucas Pouille, Denis Shapovalov, Taylor Fritz, Fernando Verdasco and Reilly Opelka as the main protagonists.

As always in the last five years, the 21-year-old Mikael Ymer has grabbed a wild card, eager to perform in front of the home crowd as the top-100 player, currently ranked six places outside the elite group. The Stockholm resident, Mikael has made rock-solid progress so far in 2019, entering the season ranked outside the top-250 and carving his way towards the potential direct entry list for the Australian Open, hoping to make that extra step and crack the top-100 in the next couple of weeks, having only 17 points to defend by the end of the season.

Ymer kicked off the year with Noumea Challenger title, qualifying for the main draw at Miami Masters 1000 event and reaching the final at Murcia Challenger in April, followed by another one in Bordeaux a few weeks later.

The best was yet to come at Roland Garros where the Swede passed three qualifying rounds to find himself in the main draw, defeating Blaz Rola for the first Grand Slam win before losing to Alexander Zverev in straight sets.

His second ATP win of the season came at home in Bastad, a week before conquering Tampere Challenger that propelled him into the top-110, improving his chances of getting there after the semi-final run at Cassis Challenger.

Mikael has scored one triumph in Stockholm so far, losing a tight match against Alexander Zverev on debut in 2015 before a thrilling 6-2, 6-1 victory over Fernando Verdasco a year later. The results were not that good in 2017 and 2018 and the youngster is hoping for much better performance in a month, especially if he gets a favorable draw.