Rafael Nadal Leads Shallow Field This Week at ATP Stuttgart

Posted on July 18, 2005

French Open champ Rafael Nadal heads a surprisingly weak claycourt field this week at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, featuring only one other Top 10 player in Russian Nikolay Davydenko.

Others in the Top 8 in the 16-seeded field are Spaniards Tommy Robredo and Dave Ferrer, Argentine and former French champ Gaston Gaudio, Czech Jiri Novak, Russian Mikhail Youzhny and Italian Filippo Volandri.

All 16 seeds receive opening-round byes, with only a few potential second-round meetings of note in (1) Nadal vs. former No. 1 and French champ Gustavo Kuerten, (4) Robredo vs. Frenchman Gael "Force" Monfils, and world-shaking big-match choker (16) Paul-Henri Mathieu of France vs. former Roland Garros champ Al Costa.

Defending champ Guillermo Canas sits this one out as he is under investigation for doping, but returning champs in the field include Youzhny (2002) and Kuerten (2001,'98).

Scheduled for Monday are (Q) Brzezicki vs. Kohlschreiber, Zabaleta vs. (WC) Thron, Mayer vs. Seppi, Di Mauro vs. (WC) A.Beck, (Q) Greul vs. Zib, Ramirez Hidalgo vs. Koubek, Simon vs. Montanes, and (WC) Summerer vs. Monaco.