Four Top 10 players on the WTA tour take to the grass in Birmingham, while Roger Federer leads in Halle, and Andy Murray, French Open champ Stan Wawrinka and Rafael Nadal at the Queen’s Club during week #2 of the 2015 grasscourt season.
Here’s a look at the three grass court events this week:
AEGON CLASSIC BIRMINGHAM
Birmingham, England; Surface: grass
Seeds: Simona Halep, Ana Ivanovic, Carla Suarez Navarro, Angelique Kerber, Eugenie Bouchard, Karolina Pliskova, Andrea Petkovic, Sabine Lisicki, Garbine Muguruza, Barbora Strycova, Alize Cornet, Victoria Azarenka, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Irina-Camelia Begu, Jelena Jankovic, Caroline Garcia
Floaters: Alison Riske, Tsvetana Pironkova, Magdalena Rybarikova, Daniela Hantuchova
Notes: The Top 8 seeds receive opening-round byes, and (2) Ivanovic starts against a qualifier…Potential tough starts for the struggling (5) Bouchard against the hot-handed American Riske, (4) Kerber against the grasscourt specialist Pironkova, (9) Muguruza against Rybarikova, and (14) Begu against the veteran Hantuchova…Wildcards went to Bouchard, the former No. 1 Jankovic, and Brits Naomi Broady, Johanna Konta and Katie Swan…The slew of players pulling from the event were Timea Bacsinszky, Mona Barthel, Madison Brengle, Dominika Cibulkova, Madison Keys, Peng Shuai, Lucie Safarova, and Yaroslava Shvedova…Ivanovic beat Strycova in last year’s final…Former champs in the field are Ivanovic (2014), Hantuchova (2013), Lisicki (2011), Rybarikova (2009), and Jankovic (2007).
London/Queen’s Club, UK; Surface: grass
Seeds: Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic, Marin Cilic, Rafael Nadal, Grigor Dimitrov, Gilles Simon, Feliciano Lopez
Floaters: Sam Querrey, Adrian Mannarino, John Isner, Jared Donaldson, David Goffin
Notes: Interesting road for (2) Wawrinka who starts with Aussie upstart Nick Kyrgios, then former Wimbledon winner Lleyton Hewitt or the giant-serving Kevin Anderson, then (5) Nadal…Other tough starts for (6) Dimitrov vs. Querrey, (4) Cilic vs. Mannarino, the unseeded John Isner vs. fellow American (Q) Donaldson, and (7) Simon vs. the hot-handed Goffin…Wildcards were awarded to Aussies Hewitt and Thanasi Kokkinakis, and Brit James Ward…Pulling from the tournament were Julien Benneteau and Leonardo Mayer…Dimitrov beat Lopez in last year’s final…Former champs in the field are Dimitrov (2014), Murray (2013,’11,’09), Cilic (2012), Querrey (2010), Nadal (2008), and Hewitt (2006,’02-00).
GERRY WEBER OPEN
Halle, Germany; Surface: grass
Seeds: Roger Federer, Kei Nishikori, Tomas Berdych, Gael Monfils, Tommy Robredo, Pablo Cuevas, Bernard Tomic, Ivo Karlovic
Floaters: Philipp Kohlschreiber, Tommy Haas, Lukas Rosol, Jerzy Janowicz, Dominic Thiem
Notes: (1) Federer has a tester right off the bat against the hometown favorite and tough grass out Kohlschreiber…Other potentially tough starts for (4) Monfils against the upset specialist Rosol, (6) Cuevas vs. the towering Janowicz, and (2) Nishikori vs. the rising Austrian Thiem…Wildcards went to Germans Dustin Brown, Jan-Lennard Struff and Alexander Zverev…Pulling from the event were Benjamin Becker and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga…Federer is 7-2 in Halle finals…Federer beats Alejandro Falla in last year’s final…Former champs in the field are Federer (2014-13,’08,’06-03), Haas (2012,’09), Kohlschreiber (2011), and Berdych (2007).
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