MercedesCup boasts a cut off of 55 and six top 20 players
Stuttgart, 9 May 2019. – This year’s MercedesCup boasts with the best cast of players since the tournament changed surface from clay to grass in 2015! When registration closed at the beginning of last week, a world ranking position of 55 was needed to directly get into the main draw of the ATP highlight in Stuttgart (total financial commitment of 754,540 Euro). Just as a comparison: Last year, a player needed to be at position no. 69. Additionally three top 20 players were in the main draw. This year, there will be six stars out of the top 20 playing at the TC Weissenhof: Mercedes Benz’s new brand ambassador Karen Khachanov (ATP 13) from Russia, Daniil Medvedev (RUS/14), Milos Raonic (CAN/16), Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO/17), Gael Monfils (FRA/18) and Denis Shapovalov (CAN/20).
As if that weren’t enough, the preliminary roster has a host of other top stars – like the three times Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka, who will play in Stuttgart for the first time since 2007. Twelve years ago – back then still on clay – the Swiss had to bow to Rafael Nadal after a hard-fought match. “The finals in 2007 are a nice memory of Stuttgart and the MercedesCup. Obviously, it is now a totally different tournament as it is played on grass, but I have only heard positive things” says the 16-times ATP tournament winner who is looking forward to making his Stuttgart comeback.
Nick Kyrgios is among the most dazzling personalities on the tour. In 2018 he already reached the semi-finals in Stuttgart, proving his mettle on grass. This year the “enfant terrible” from Down Under is again ready to go deep in the tournament. The same can be said about France’s veteran Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who is coming back to full strength after a knee surgery in April of 2018. He has already reached the semis at Wimbledon twice (2011, 2012).
At the other end of the age range we have Felix Auger-Aliassime from Canada. He has really made an impression this year by reaching the final at the ATP 500 tournament in Rio de Janeiro and the semis at the Masters 1000 event in Miami. Only 18 years old, he is by far the youngest player in the Top 30 of the world. Six players of this year’s MercedesCup have already won tournaments this year: Tsonga (Montpellier), Medvedev (Sofia), Monfils (Rotterdam), Kyrgios (Acapulco), the talented Serb Laslo Djere (Rio) and the up and coming Italian Matteo Berrettini (Budapest). Through a German lens there are – at this point of time – just two players in Stuttgart: two-time Stuttgart finalist Philipp Kohlschreiber (2013, 2016) and Jan-Lennard Struff. Several other German players will fight for a place in the 28 player main draw during the Whitesun weekend when the qualification will be played.
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Stuttgart, 9 May 2019. – “The MercedesCup has a very interesting field of players to offer this year. It is a perfect mixture of top stars like Stan Wawrinka, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gael Monfils, Milos Raonic, Nick Kyrgios and Philipp Kohlschreiber, as well as players who have a bright future like Karen Khachanov, Daniil Medvedev, Denis Shapovalov or Felix Auger-Aliassime. The sensational cut off of 55 goes to show the magnetism the MercedesCup has on players. When you could have first round matches between Stan Wawrinka and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or Nick Kyrgios against Denis Shapovalov – this is a clear sign how packed the tournament really is”, says tournament director Edwin Weindorfer.