ATP Veterans Roger Federer and Richard Gasquet Start Grass Season With Titles
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
Roger Federer again reclaimed the #1 ranking by virtue of his title in Stuttgart that came 6-4 7-6 in the final against a resurgent Milos Raonic. Federer had some tough matches to open his grass court season in Germany, but he got past Mischa Zverev in 3, Guido Pella in straights, and Nick Kyrgios in a tight third set tiebreak earlier in the week, along with the Raonic victory.
Raonic had his best run of the year defeating Mirza Basic, Marton Fucsovics, Tomas Berdych, and Lucas Pouille without dropping a set or having his serve threatened en route to the final.
Germany’s Petzschner and Puetz defeat Lindstedt/Matkowski in the Mercedes Cup doubles final.
31 year old Richard Gasquet defeated his fellow over 30 French countryman Jeremy Chardy to win the Libema Open title in the Netherlands on grass. Gasquet claimed his first championship of the season 6-3 7-6 after previously winning matches against Evgeny Donskoy, Stefanos Tsitsipas and surprise semifinalist Bernard Tomic to reach the final.
Chardy moved to 9-1 on grass this season after defeating Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Adrian Mannarino, Mackenzie McDonald and Matt Ebden to reach the final, he could be a dark horse at Wimbledon.
Inglot/Skugor defeated Klaasen/Venus in the doubles final.
Roger Federer Returns at the Mercedes Cup 2018 in Stuttgart
Steen Kirby, Tennis Atlantic
The Mercedes Cup ATP 250 in Stuttgart is where Roger Federer, Nick Kyrgios, Milos Raonic and other accomplished grass courters will start their 2018 Wimbledon preparations. Here is a look at the German grass court stop.
Roger Federer will begin his return to the ATP tour against a veteran no matter what. Mischa Zverev is his likely opponent (rather than qualifier Mikhail Youzhny). Federer should be tested more by Denis Shapovalov or John Millman in the quarters though. I’ll back Shapovalov to defeat Prajnesh Gunneswaran and Millman (or Guido Pella) to reach that quarters. At that stage though I don’t see him beating the legendary Fed on grass.
Nick Kyrgios vs. Feliciano Lopez looks like a great quarterfinal contest. Kyrgios will need to find form and defeat Max Marterer or Viktor Galovic while Lopez has to defeat fellow veteran Viktor Troicki, followed by Gilles Simon/Matteo Viola. On grass Lopez should be up to scratch though, I’ll back him to reach the semis and upset Kyrgios in the process.
Lucas Pouille is in awful form this year but he should still defeat Rudolf Molleker/J.L. Struff as he aims to turn his season around. Philipp Kohlschreiber at home is the danger player here though. Peppo opens with Denis Istomin and I’ll back him over Florian Mayer or Yannick Maden in round 2. Kohlschreiber over Pouille at home in Germany seems like a sensible pick.
Milos Raonic will take on Mirza Basic in round 1, Marton Fucsovics or Denis Kudla in round 2 will be far trickier. That said, Raonic is the most accomplished player in this section and I’ll back him into the quarters against Tomas Berdych. Berdych has to find form and defeat Taylor Fritz and Benoit Paire in round 2. Raonic should win the section.
Federer d. Lopez
Kohlschreiber d. Raonic
Kohlschreiber plays well in Germany but Federer should be too strong for anyone in this field and should take the title.
Federer d. Kohlschreiber