SOFIA, January 29, 2016
Two more Bulgarians will participate at the inagural Garanti Koza Sofia Open starting this Saturday at Arena Armeec. The decision was made after Bulgaria’s Minister of Youth and Sports Mr. Krasen Kralev met the organizers of the tournament. World number 445 Alexander Lazov will enter the main draw, which will be announced on Saturday at the Novotel Sofia. The other two wild cards were granted to Bulgarian Dimitar Kuzmanov and Marsel Ilhan from Turkey.
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Bulgarian junior champion Alexander Lazarov got a wild card for the qualifying and will take on Marius Copil, along with Cem Ilkel from Turkey, who is facing top-seed Yuichi Sugita on Saturday.
“I wish the players a great tournament. For the very first time Bulgarian tennis fans will witness some of the best players in the world. Behave as men in the games, there are always winners and losers in sports. Playing with heart is the most important. This tournament is great advertising for Bulgaria because it will be watched in 137 countries, including the United States”, said Mr. Kralev. He met with Garanti Koza Board Member Mr. Osman Erden Bilginer and Bulgarian Davis Cup Captain Todor Enev.
The wild card decisions clarifies the fact that Bulgaria’s top-ranked player and world number 28 Grigor Dimitrov will not compete in Sofia this year. This might surprise, as the success of the 24-year-old might have played a role when the tournament was shifted from Zagreb to the capital city of Bulgaria. Dimitrov clinched four ATP World Tour titles and is considered as part of the tennis circuit’s new generation.