Sunday, June 7, 2015

Stuttgart welcomes in the grass season

In its first year as a grass tournament, the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart will kick off the extended grass season, which has been boosted from five weeks to now six if you count Newport as part of the grass season. The tournament, which once was a Masters Series 1000, looks like one all over again with some of the potential matchups in the early rounds.

Here is a breakdown of the mouth-watering matches that are already slated and others that could potentially happen in Stuttgart

First Round
Baghdatis vs. Rosol - Starting at the top of the draw, we already have a great match-up with a clash of a great shot-maker taking on brute force. I am taking the shot-maker Baghdatis this time.
Haas vs. Kukushkin - Haas makes his return in his home country, but I think Kukushkin who has had some success at Wimbledon will ruin the comeback for now.
Tomic vs. Struff - We're just going in order for now, because these match-ups really are that good. Struff has always had some hype around him and not unlike his opponent he has lacked the work-ethic at times. I got Tomic beating the home favorite, but the crowd will enjoy this match.
Dolgopolov vs. Kohlschreiber - This could be a third round match at a major, but instead it is a first round match at a 250. There will be no shortage of hot shots in this match. I got Dolgopolov to take out another German.
Troicki vs. Coric - Anytime Coric takes the court its fun to watch. He opens against Troicki, who is still battling to clinch a Wimbledon seed. There's a lot on the line, and it's always fun when a Croat plays a Serb. I'm taking Troicki to get the win, but Coric certainly has what it takes to push him.
Stepanek vs. Zverev - We know what Stepanek is made out of on grass. His simple strokes make his game suit the grass well. However, we have never seen Zverev play on grass before as a professional. Stepanek is a tricky opponent. This will be a big test for the German, but I think he will pass it.
Stakhovsky vs. Groth - Serve and volley is going to come back to life for a match. There might not be two players on tour, who serve and volley more than these two. For fans of old-fashion tennis, this is as good as it gets. I think Groth's serve will carry him to victory.

Second Round
Nadal vs. Rosol - Rosol would need to get past Baghdatis first, but if he does, we have a rematch of one of the most shocking upsets in tennis history. Could Rosol find that level again against the Spaniard. The last time Nadal didn't win Roland Garros, he won Wimbledon.
Janowicz vs. Dolgopolov - Janowicz against anyone is exciting. Dolgopolov against anyone is exciting. There's nothing special about this particular rivalry, but having these two guys on the same court at the same time can only be good.
Coric vs. Zverev - I don't think we will get this match-up, but it would be a fun one if it happens. In my last top 20 under 20 piece, both of these 18-year olds were in the top four. This would be their first professional meeting.
Groth vs. Lopez - More serve-and-volley and grass-specialist tennis. How can you say no to that?

Nadal vs. Tomic - Last time we had this match, it only lasted a set. Hopefully this time they can finish it. On grass, Tomic has a real shot at pulling off the upset.
Monfils vs. Janowicz - Monfils is the most athletic player on tour. Janowicz is must-watch tennis. Both are good on the grass, particularly Janowicz. The former Wimbledon semifinalist will have to play well though to take out Monfils

Nadal vs. Monfils - This could be a Grand Slam semifinal, but unfortunately they have only met twice in majors. These are the two main ticket sellers in the tournament.

Cilic vs. Monfils - This rivalry produced one of the greatest points ever played and there were many more just like it in this match. Hopefully we see something like it if this really is the two players in the final.
The quality of the video may not be great, but the quality of the point is more than great.

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