Comeback of grass and „Goat“ Roger Federer
After a long clay court-season it’s time to get back on luscious grass. Stuttgart’s MercedesCup is the kick-off for the fastest tennis time of the year. At the same time, Stuttgart sees the comeback of Roger Federer who, just like last year, skipped all of the clay court season again.
Can Federer extend his record series?
The Suiss is nearly unbeatable on lawn, just like Rafael Nadal is on clay court. Over his career, Federer has a win percentage on grass of more than 87 percent. After his early exit in last year’s MercedesCup he went on to win Halle and Wimbledon, massing up 30 consecutive sets. Federer, naturally, wants to extend this series at this year’s edition of the MercedesCup.
Pouille: man with nerves of steel
Frenchman Lucas Pouille was the only player in 2017 to win titles on grass, hardcourt and clay court. The title on frass came at Stuttgart’s MercedesCup. Though he came close to exiting the tournament already in his opener. But Pouille was able to spectacularly save a match point against local hero Jan-Lennard Struff and go on to win the tournament.
Canadian change of the guard
With Milos Raonic and Denis Shapovalov, there are two Canadian top stars in Stuttgart this year. Even though he himself is only 27 years of age, serving giant Raonic already faces a tough and younger competitor for the no 1 spot in Canada. Shapovalov is 19 years old but was able to topple Raonic from his throne this year, jumping him in the ATP rankings. Shapovalov also prevailed in two straight sets in their first ever meeting on the ATP tour this year in Canada.
Kohlschreiber feels perfectly at home
Philipp Kohlschreiber, the current veteran of German tennis has finished the last 11 seasons in the top 50 of the ATP rankings. A good part of that is due to his strong performance as soon as he plays on home soil. In tournaments in Germany, Kohlschreiber boasts a .659 win record (120 W – 62 L). Therefore, “Kohli” is once again a hot contender for this year’s title in Stuttgart.