ATP/WTA Previews: Nadal Helps Debut Stuttgart Grass Event
by Staff | June 7th, 2015, 6:07 pm
  • 39 Comments

MercedesCup
Stuttgart, Germany; Surface: grass

Seeds: Rafael Nadal, Marin Cilic, Feliciano Lopez, Gael Monfils, Bernard Tomic, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Dominic Thiem, Viktor Troicki


Floaters: Marcos Baghdatis, Lukas Rosol, Borna Coric

Notes: The tournament makes the switch to grass as part of the tour’s extended grasscourt season…Tough starts for (1) Nadal against the Baghdatis-Rosol winner, and (8) Troicki vs. Coric…Wildcards went to Germans Tommy Haas, Maximilian Marterer and Alexander Zverev…Pulling from the event were Julien Benneteau and Jiri Vesely…The Bryan brothers are the top seeds in doubles…Nadal (2007,’05) is the lone returning former champ in the field.

Topshelf Open
‘s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands; Surface: grass

Men’s Seeds: David Goffin, Roberto Bautista Agut, Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Ivo Karlovic, Adrian Mannarino, Fernando Verdasco, Joao Sousa, Vasek Pospisil

Men’s Floaters: (WC) Lleyton Hewitt, Gilles Muller, Jurgen “Tuna” Melzer

Men’s Notes: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was top seeded but pulled with an abdominal injury…(3) Bautista Agut could open against (WC) Hewitt, and the top-seeded Goffin could start against the wily veteran Tuna Melzer…Other wildcards went to Romanian Marius Copil and Dutchman Robin Haase…Other players pulling from the event were Simone Bolelli, V�ctor Estrella Burgos, Richard Gasquet, Steve Johnson and Nick Kyrgios…Bautista Agut beat Benjamin Becker in last year’s final…Returning champs in the field are Bautista Agut (2014) and Hewitt (2001).

Women’s Seeds: Eugenie Bouchard, Jelena Jankovic, Coco Vandeweghe, Belinda Bencic, Camila Giorgi, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Kristina Mladenovic, and Johanna Larsson

Women’s Floaters: none

Women’s Notes: Good opportunity for Bouchard to get back on track with a title amidst a low-level field…Joining Bouchard as wildcards are France’s Oceane Dodin, and Dutchwoman Michaella Krajicek…Withdrawing from the tournament were Madison Brengle, Dominika Cibulkova, Daria Gavrilova, Andrea Petkovic and Elina Svitolina…Vandeweghe beat Jie Zheng in last year’s final…Returning former champs in the field are Vandeweghe (2014), Krajicek (2006), and Koukalova (2005).

Aegon Open Nottingham
Nottingham, Great Britain; Surface: grass

Seeds: Agnieszka Radwanska, Zarina Diyas, Varvara Lepchenko, Karin Knapp, Alison Riske, Casey Dellacqua, Magdalena Rybarikova, Ajla Tomljanovic

Floaters: Daniela Hantuchova, Yanina Wickmayer, Sesil Karatantcheva, Francesca Schiavone

Notes: Potentially tough starts for (4) Knapp vs. Wickmayer, (6) Dellacqua vs. the hot-handed Karatentcheva, and (2) Diyas vs. the Slam winner Schiavone…Wildcards went to Radwanska and Brits Katy Dunne and Johanna Konta…Pulling from the tournament were Mona Barthel, Alexandra Dulgheru, Julia Goerges, Peng Shuai, Roberta Vinci and Heather Watson.

 


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39 Comments for ATP/WTA Previews: Nadal Helps Debut Stuttgart Grass Event

Michael Says:

At the Mercedes Cup, the field looks very strong. I think Rafa needs more practice in Grass as he can, to put up a respectable performance at Wimbledon this time around. The last three years has been an absolute disaster for him. Let us see how he manages to turn this around ? Remember, this man has made five finals at the Premier Grass court event.


RZ Says:

I’m interested in how Cilic does during grass season. If he is over his shoulder injury, he could be dangerous as he is a pretty good grass player and the surface rewards his serve.


sienna Says:

wimbledon is thankfull they can dump Rafael to court #2 organisatie #3 saving the grass for showcourts in 2nd week.
Rafael only has chances if he can turn the grass into dirt.


SG1 Says:

I think it’s Murray’s time to shine again. I think he’ll run the table on this grass court season and pick up his 3rd major at SW19. He showed some metal in fighting back against Novak on the red dirt after looking dead in the water.

Think Stan has the FO hangover and doesn’t do damage until the US Open Series.


RZ Says:

@SG1 – I hope so! And I kinda agree. My thought during Andy’s semi with Novak was that Andy would win one of the next 3 slams.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

First thing to watch for in grass season is how Rafa rebounds from one loss in particular, and his worse clay season in general. So many times Rafa has caught fire in the clay season, and it has elevated his level for months after. How will he respond without that momentum?

Second thing is Cilic. RG was first Slam back for him, and he won a few matches. Is HE ready to become a day-in-day-out threat? Was the USO a one-time lightning strike, or is he en route to returning to that form?

So in this first minor tournament, we get to see some glimpses of two of our big story lines.

The other things we’re all waiting for: Can Novak and Andy keep up their recent form? Will Novak resume the dominant ownership of the tour we all thought we saw just a few weeks ago? Will Fed be a grass contender again? Will Del Potro come back? Three of the ‘youngish players’, Kyrgios, Milos, and Dmitrov, had great success on grass last year. Where will THEY land this year? Will Kei fit in at all?

Which hard-luck favourite will get knocked out early (in Stuttgart, Halle, Queens or Wimby) by an old man like Haase or Hewitt?


jane Says:

^ I think 4-K is an interesting one to watch at Wimbledon too TV. Wow his serve is something else. He may just have the game for grass. And what about Stan? He played a great match versus Roger at Wimbledon last year.


sienna Says:

Nadal only helps when he reaches final. but Ik doubt he will try his best tennis to help organisers.


sienna Says:

you mean old man Haas instead of Haase…

so called tennis goeroes need to check the namesandfacts….


Snowbird Says:

Hewitt is now ranked No. 118, and will definitely run into some tough guys, but hopefully he can rack up some decent wins, as he is great on grass. It’s nice to see him playing again, after his hiatus.

If I’m not mistaken, he’s going to announce his retirement at the AO 2016. However, he’s got something alse to look forward to as Australia’s Davis cup captain. I think he’s got a fine squad of young guys (if they’ll want to play) who can help to win a DC cup for their country.


jane Says:

most definitely a fine squad, snowbird.


Hippy Chick Says:

I look forward to seeing Rafa back playing on grass again at Stuttgart and then next week at Queens club,and the irony well for me is im glad hes done with clay now for the year,the weight of expectation and pressure is off him,nobody these days expects him to do well at Wimbledon anymore,so for me personally i can watch him with no expectations win or lose….


Hippy Chick Says:

Im guessing that both the Novak and Rafa fans leave this tournament behind with dissapointment,Rafas reign ended,and Novak leaves RG with this GS still missing from his resume,fans in a sense wanted the CC season to be more interesting and have a different RG champion well they got what they wanted,but not really the one they wanted or expected,such is the unpredictability of our beautiful sport….


elina Says:

You guys (and sienna)!

Cilic the pick for Wimbles this year (if he gets a Roger-type draw).

mew


Markus Says:

It just became harder to predict who will win Wimbledon. But I’d venture it would not be any of the Lost Generation.


M Says:

RZ and elina, there are a lot of people talking about Cilic as a dark horse (especially if Goran I is working with him on that serve again).

Then again … when I was watching his earlier matches they were calling him that for RG as well … and then he ran into Ferru.

So … we’ll see.


RZ Says:

@M – Cilic has never been that good on clay, and he had just come back from injury. So taking that into account, he had a good run at RG. Grass is a better surface for him. He’s won Queens before. Having said that, I don’t expect him to win Wimbledon this year. But I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the semis.


Matador Says:

It just became harder to predict who will win Wimbledon. But I’d venture it would not be any of the Lost Generation.

Hey, Markus, the term “lost generation” is my signature to refer to players overated as Nishikori, Raonic and especially Dimitrov. Players whose level is not enough to win the big titles like Masters 1000 and especially the grand slams, besides being unable to win against big players who are not 4 but belong to that generation as Wawrinka and Tsonga. These players which I coined that term, have to face not only the old breed of players already described but also to the new values as Kyrgios, Kokkinakis and Coric, whose future is much more promising that members of this lost generation. They are still young but unable to take the plunge: Winning majors and be the new number 1 of the tour. Can these players take off that name and dethrone the older generation and have a triumphant time lapse before the new crop of players are reaching their prime and they who are dethroned?


Matador Says:

to refer to overated players as Nishikori, Raonic and especially Dimitrov, should say.


danica Says:

Hippy Chick,
I am not that disappointed that Novak lost in the finals as I never expect anything or take anything for granted. And while everyone was predicting Nole to win, I only needed to remind myself of the AO ’13 or AO ’14 or AO ’15 or USO ’13… I wanted him to win but I felt it was not going to be this year either. Besides, there ‘s never a shame losing to a better player. Maybe only the win over Rafa was written in the stars. And that is not a mean feat.

Stumbled upon a nice article:

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2489034-why-novak-djokovic-shouldnt-be-concerned-about-another-french-open-defeat


Hippy Chick Says:

Danica he will no doubt get more chances to win RG,but the thing is these things get harder every year not easier,i have mixed feeling about predictions which i dont mind,the whole thing that gets annoying here is when posters believe they have some sort of monopoly that the rest of us dont and state them as bona fide facts,one poster said to me the other day after Novak beat Rafa he will win RG,and those saying Andy,Jo or Stan has a chance are just been petty,then Novak lost the final and that particular poster hasnt been seen here since hmmm,go figure….


Hippy Chick Says:

Tennis Vagabond many thanks for the link,as i said earlier the irony for me is that im glad Rafas off clay now and trying to focus on grass,nobody expects much from him on grass anymore so the pressures off him….


Hippy Chick Says:

Meant to add great that hes focused on grass,rather than dwelling on the Novak RG loss….


brando Says:

@TV: thanks for that. They are outstanding quotes. Many pschologists, great thinkers, common sense, philosophers, even religions advocate: forget the past, don’t fret about the future and stick to the present. Today is the only day that matters. Yet most people cannot help but have a regretful leg in the past or anxieties about the future. Rafa is one of those rare breeds who says and means it: hey, it’s about right now. This moment. Cannot help but admire him for that. You got to make most of and treasure today since if you don’t then you will let life slip you by. And in the tennis world rafa gets its all about today, this match NOT anything else. I remember at Roland garros when the draw came out everyone questioned him about the novak match and rafa said: hey that’s irrelevant. We talk if we get to that juncture, otherwise I’m not interested. Then we he beat sock he joked to media now we can talk about Djokovic. Lol. He really is a one day at a time kinda individual and about maximizing that. Brilliant attitude.


sienna Says:

well the draw will be another fourthnight?
But I bet a months pay that Nadal will be dumped in section of either Djoker/Murray/Roger to give a big hoopla to 2nd Monday fourth round.

and Murray to be fave for that wager.


Markus Says:

Corollary to Hippy Chick @4:59:

Most of us make predictions here but they are nothing but guesses. None can truly foretell what will happen. The funny thing is that after the fact, there are those who predicted correctly who gloat as if they are geniuses while those who erred are idiots. And there are those who are so bold and insulting in their predictions that when they err, they disappear because they lose face. It would have been better to stay, admit the mistake, apologize if you insulted others while making the all-knowing prediction. Then move on. Be like the players: move on.


brando Says:

What a brave soul sienna is. She’s taking the colossal risk of predicting nadal shall fall into one of Djokovic, Murray or Federer half. Such gall. Such guts. Let’s not mention the fact that due to the ranking situation that’s a 75% chance anyhow. Let’s just take this moment to recognize what a bright light bulb sienna is. And also pray that nadal avoids the true number intennis: marin cilic. Lol, what a farce of a poster. Stick to hating on the players honey, it’s more instinctive for you. Since when you try to produce something intelligent it’s the level of a toodler in a kindergarden. I bet Nadal will be in one of Djokovic, Federer or Murray’s quarter. Lol, you don’t you say so you genius. Will there be warm weather in the summer if the suns blazing brightly oh wise one?


Hippy Chick Says:

Markus thankyou lol,you put it better than i ever could….


Tennis Vagabond Says:

Markus, I not only predicted there would be a French Open champion this year, I predicted it would be on CHARTRIER, on SUNDAY and it would be TELEVISED.

I am a genius.


Hippy Chick Says:

Brando the irony for me is that im glad clays over,for Rafa it means theres no expectations and he can play with less pressure,how do you feel about that?….


Hippy Chick Says:

I predict that we cannot predict anything,other than there will be two champions at Wimbledon,one female and one male….


Markus Says:

TV

Even without saying, I know you are.
Now, how about Wimbledon?


Markus Says:

Hippy Chick: I will go one better. The men’s finals will be more exciting than the women’s.


Daniel Says:

Brando,

I think Sienna said Nadal would be drawn in one of the top 3 for Rounf of 16, second Monday as per her post.

That is not a big probability as it is in one of them for Quarters, there are 8 seeds and if Nadal jeepsmhos rankings at 10 he has 3 out of 8 chamce to meet one of Djoko, Fed and Murray in R16 which is about 38% chance. Possible but not likelly.


brando Says:

@TV: did you hear that? That was Einstein yelling in his grave “damn you TV, surpassing my genius by extolling such revelations”. I raise you though with this: I bet Wimbledon will be played on Grass this year. That men’s matches will be for 5 sets. And that only men can play those men’s matches. I know what you are thinking: ‘Brando I just cannot see that happening”, but have faith my friend, since I am a Sienna level genius.


Tennis Vagabond Says:

You all are so smug with your tidy Men’s and Women’s predictions, what will you do if Caitlyn Jenner shows up in the draw? (There is precedent: see US Open, 1977)


Markus Says:

TV: Hahaha! Genius!


jane Says:

has rafa played a singles match yet?
also when are draws for halle and queens?

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