Exciting weekend and whole week of yet another competitive tennis tournaments is behind us.
Rafael Nadal won his 9-th Monte Carlo Title and is now very close to the top 4 in the rankings and Fed Cup delivered lot of drama, as both semifinals went to a 5-th match doubles decider.
But enough with what was, let’s see what we are going to have this week.
The Men won’t take a step back after the Rolex Masters, as ATP Barcelona boosts impressive field of players in this big 48 contestant draw.
Nadal has dominated this tournament almost the way he has done it in Monaco, but he has come short in last 2 years with losing even before the Semis.
Kei Nishikori is the 2 time defending champion of the event as he returns looking for a triple. The Japanese missed the Masters so he will be rested and ready to go.
Last year’s surprising finalist Pablo Andujar isn’t returning to defend his points
The 16 seeds are within top 50 with Ferrer, Gasquet, Bautista Agut rounding up the top 20 participants in this event.
Bucharest is the other event from the Men’s side this week. The field is weak with no top 20 player and top seed is Bernard Tomic who received a WC to get here. A bit of a letdown with last year Nastase Triac event had 2 top 20 players including Simon and Monfils.
Guillermo Garcia Lopez is returning as defending champ while other interesting names from the seeds include Federico Del Bonis and Ivo Karlovic.
Meanwhile the Ladies gather in the annual Premier High profile tournament – The Porsche Open in Stuttgart.
Played on indoor clay, they regularly have one of the best fields despite not being Mandatory for the players
This year Is no different with 6 top 10 players and the last direct acceptance – Timea Babos #49.
Angelique Kerber who helped out Germany to stay in the Fed Cup’s World Group over the weekend with 2 wins against Romania will try to win the event for 2 consecutive years.
Plenty of obstacles ahead including Simona Halep who is in her part of the draw and can meet up in the Semis, just days after their encounter in Cluj.
Blockbuster matches ahead starting from Round 1,as seeds hasn’t mean that much in this event from years now due to the strong draw.
With Current situation in Turkey, many players were concerned about their well being playing in Istanbul. From WTA even made an exception who withdrew from there can take part of Stuttgart’s qualies.
That Made the draw weaker with top seed Anna Karolina Schmiedlova #34 leading the charge, but with Kozlova, the last direct accepted player as low as ranked #149.
Balanced field throughout though, with many looking to gain vital points and money while boosting their chances for a better ranking.
Last year’s event was held in July, but was moved due to the Olympic year and also changed the surface from Hard Court to Clay in order to stay competitive in its new spot in the calendar.
Fun Fact from last couple of days to end this article
Jordi-Samper Montana is the only player I saw participating in 2 tournaments in same week, while going back and forth from ITF Reus to play ATP Barcelona Qualies. He lost the Futures final and the match for getting into Barcelona’s Main Draw eventually. Both tournaments are 120 km apart so it was kind of easy to get there and back quick.
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