The 2018 Ecuador Open gives South American players, and more specifically clay-court specialists, a chance to get some match play, rankings points and cash early in the season. Hard-courters and Europeans are playing indoors in Europe this week, so this is where another subsection of the ATP World Tour is convening before other South American events continue through the month of February. Those who thrive on the red surface will get an early opportunity to shine (and avoid hard court events that are usually more challenging for them). With that in mind, let’s take a look at the Ecuador Open.
The competition in the 28-player main draw begins on Monday, February 5.
Event: Ecuador Open Quito
Category: ATP 250 Series
Date: February 5-11, 2018
Location: Club Jacaranda – Quito, Ecuador
The 2017 Ecuador Open isn’t a prize bonanza, but with an allotment of just over 501,000 Euros, this is an entirely acceptable purse for clay-court players trying to dig out a living on tour. It is their opportunity to play on a comfortable surface and spend the month of February moving up the ladder to the extent that they can. This is the beauty of having multiple tournaments during the same week. Players who specialize on different surfaces both have a chance to make money and advance their careers. When events are on the same surface, it’s counterproductive, but split-surface weeks of tennis add variety to the sport and truly open doors for more professionals to make a living at this endeavor.
The Ecuador Open holds the honor of being the first clay court tournament of the season. It also marks the beginning of the “Golden Swing,” with 250 and 500 pointers taking place in Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo in the coming weeks.
Champion – 250
Runner-up – 150
Semifinal – 90
Quarterfinal – 45
Former Champions and Results
Year Champion Runner-up Score
2017: Victor Estrella Burgos def. Paolo Lorenzi 6-7, 7-5, 7-6
2016: Victor Estrella Burgos def. Thomaz Bellucci 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-2
2015: Victor Estrella Burgos def. Feliciano Lopez 6-2, 6-7(5-7), 7-6(5)
Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic, who won the inaugural event in 2015 and successfully defended his crown in each of the next two visits to Ecuador, returns to Quito, his favorite tour stop, in hope of a four-peat, which would be a remarkable achievement for one of the older players on tour.
Pablo Carreno Busta is the top seed. He has dramatically raised his profile on tour after making the 2017 U.S. Open semifinals and playing two matches as the first alternate in the 2017 ATP Finals in London. He loves clay and can rightly be seen as the favorite in Quito.
For a 38-year old, Ivo Karlovic had a very respectable outing in Australia which recalled his 2017 campaign. Last year in Melbourne, he reached round three by winning a marathon battle against Horacio Zeballos. This year in Melbourne Park, Karlovic reached round three of the tournament by winning a five-set battle against Yuichi Sugita, 12-10 in the final set. The more things change, the more they stay the same. He is not a clay-court master by any means, but his serve is still nasty, and on clay, his second-serve kicker will be tough to handle.
Albert Ramos-Vinolas is the second seed at this tournament for the second straight year – he is a foremost contender for this title.
Gael Monfils, enigmatic and unpredictable as always, is in this draw. His defense is always a big reason to fancy his chances in a clay-court tournament which does not include Rafael Nadal.
Paulo Lorenzi, No. 46 in the world, has maintained his place in the top 50 at age 36, a very impressive achievement. Clay is where he plays his best tennis, so this is a great chance for him to make a run to the final if not win the tournament. He is the fourth seed, meaning that he gets a first-round bye.
A country club founded in 1970, this is the Quito-based host of the Ecuador Open, with a spacious stadium court in a larger complex of outdoor red clay courts, surrounded by the mountains in this rugged and exotically beautiful South American country at the equator.
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