Both Halle and Queen’s Club Grass court tournaments which will take place from June 15 got promoted to category 500 from this year. While the women are heading to Birmingham for a Premier event with a 48 player draw which will give us some answers about the current state of the players. Let’s take a tour around and see who will participate and what we can expect
Queen’s is one of the most prestigious grass court tournaments, as well as one of the oldest Tennis tournaments in the world, and a form Guide by many For Wimbledon. Defending champion is Grigor Dimitrov, who just like last year, comes on the Grass after disappointing clay court season. Similarities with his performances can be made as he lost R1 in Paris last and this year, and he hopes for the same fortunes now with the change of surface. Despite dissapointed with the early clay exit he went on to win the title outlasting Wawrinka and in a 3 tiebreak sets Feliciano Lopez in the final last year.
He then played a SF in Wimbledon, lost in tight 4 sets to World No.1 Novak Djokovic. His road will be more difficult this time with a potential 3rd round meeting with top seed and 3 time winner here Andy Murray. Not overlooking the Bulgarian’s first round opponent in the face of Querrey who can snatch tiebreaks and make close matches especially on fast courts. Potentially Gilles Muller in R2 as well who has already played in Hertogenbosch last week with a SF appearance. That part of the draw sees F.Lopez – last year finalist, John Isner and Marin Cilic as well so bombs will be fired for sure. Who will survive this barrage for a potential SF is pure mystery.
In the bottom part we can see Roland Garros champion Stan ‘The Man’ Wawrinka who can meet the newly crowned Stuttgart champion – Rafael Nadal in R3. Seing the return of Milos Raonic for this tournament as well, as he was recovering from foot injury who kept him out of Roland Garros.
Dark horse – Nick Kyrgios, first opponent of Wawrinka can do some damage. With his explosive game and good one two punch this will be interesting encounter. He has a title in Nottingham and a QF in Wimbledon in 2014 to boost his confidence on the turf.
Roger Federer is the top seed, defending champ and a dominant figure in the tournament’s history. From 2003–06, 2008, 2013–14 he holds the record for most overall titles (seven), most consecutive titles (four), as well as most finals (nine, 2003–06, 2008, 2010, 2012–14).
“Of course at this stage of my career I want to have the perfect preparation for Wimbledon,” said Federer. “That means a victory here. I want to defend the title in a tough field of competitors. That’s exactly what I need right now.
He openes up against tricky opponent in face of Kolschreiber who has previosly won the event (2011) and lost a final against Roger in 2008, however he hasn’t beaten him in 8 tries. Projected seed he could face in R3 is Tomic who played a QF in Stuttgart last week. Berdych and Karlovic wraps up the other eventual QF as fas as seeds are concerned. Tomas has had great grass court performances in the past with Wimbledon Final (2010) and a QF (2013). His pre-Wimbledon preparations have seen him going as far as QF in last couple of years. Same could be said for Karlovic who had a really bad 2014 on the Grass courts and will look for improvement. We all know that if his serve fires he can beat anyone.
Bottom part has No.2 Kei Nishikori, Cuevas, Robredo and Monfils. Not the best grass court players to say the least so this will be very interesting how it pays out. Monfils at least has some preparation coming as he played in Stuttgart, a SF loss to eventual champion Rafael Nadal.
Dark horse – Alejandro Falla deserves a mention. Surprising finalist last year here knocking out Kohlschreiber and losing with 2 TB’s to Roger Federer in the final. He has made it through the qualies this year as well, breezing through his 2 matches and can be dangerous against higher ranked opposition, so don’t count him out lightly…
First WTA Premier Event on grass this year with #2 seed Ana Ivanovic returning as defending champ, while Simona Halep is the #1 . Packed field with all 16 seeds within top 35 of the rankings of this 48 player Main Draw. Simona returns on Grass after her SF appearance last year in Wimbledon, losing to Bouchard in 2 sets. Genie is in her part of the draw and a potentially ¼ final meeting, although remain to be seen will the Canadian manage to win even one match as she comes in with 1-9 record in L10. Needs to pick herself up if she wants to remain in top 20 after 1 month time when her Wimbledon points drop. Nothing to defend here as well.
Last year’s finalist here, the always unpredictable Barbora Stycova, can face the Canadian in R3 which should be intriguing if it happens. Will be interesting to see how Carla Suarez Navaro will perform on Grass this year as the newest part of top 10…With only 13-11 record on the green she has still failed to make a mark on this surface, could this be the time, we would find out soon.She can potentially meat Azarenka or Karolina Pliskova in QF is she manage to get through some good competition along the way.
Ana Ivanovic leads the charge in the bottom half and has a potentially Wimbledon finalist from 2 years ago Sabine Liscki waiting for her in the the QF. Petkovic and Kerber are the other top 8 seeds on the side of the Serbian but only Kerber has the chance, on paper, to cause trouble if eventually they meet. SF in Wimbledon few years back and QF last year the leftie German is someone who can cause an upset along the way.
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