This week marks the start of the grass-court swing, and one tournament to keep an eye on is the Stuttgart Open, with the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios in action.
With the French Open in the rearview mirror, attention switches to the build-up to Wimbledon, and this ATP 250 event in Germany should not be short of entertainment.
Greek ace Tsitsipas has been granted a wildcard entry into the event and is the top seed, while Kygrios is set to feature at a singles tournament for the first time since October after having undergone minor surgery.
Both will be eager to make an impact but face fierce competition from an American contingent of Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul, as well as Polish ace Hubert Hurkacz and Italian duo Lorenzo Musetti and Matteo Berrettini, who make up the eight seeds.
Date: Monday 12 June, 2023 to Sunday 18 June, 2023
Time: From 10:00 Monday 12 June, 2023
Location: Tennis Club Weissenhof, Stuttgart, Germany
Tsitsipas unlikely to dominate
As the Grand Slam’s fifth seed, Tsitsipas made it to the quarter-finals of this year’s French Open but was subsequently humiliated by Spanish starlet Carlos Alcaraz, who won 6-2 6-1 7-6.
That defeat could well have knocked the confidence of Tsitsipas ahead of the grass-court season, and although he is the top seed in Stuttgart, that was also the case last year at the event, and he crashed out in the quarter-finals.
In the top half of the draw, Tsitsipas could come up against the likes of Hurkacz and Berrettini and may not have things all his own way in Germany.
Kyrgios eager to impress on return
This week is a big one for Kyrgios, who is set to play at a singles tournament for the first time in 2023 after a lengthy layoff due to injury.
And his return has come at the right time, given how impressive he was during the grass-court swing in 2022, winning a tour-leading 12 matches on the surface and making the final of Wimbledon.
But to return to the ATP tour and immediately win an event is asking a lot of Kyrgios, who may not go as deep as expected.
Fritz could be the pick to go the distance
One player who could be in for a decent Stuttgart Open campaign is American Fritz.
Fritz bowed out of the French Open in the third round this year, but that should have given him time to prepare for the grass-court season.
On the quicker surface last year, he won eight of his 11 matches, making the quarter-finals of Wimbledon and winning the Eastbourne International title beforehand.
That should give him a bit of a confidence boost ahead of the grass-court season this year, and the event’s second seed could be in for a decent tournament.
Fritz, like the other top four seeds at the event, has received a bye to the second round, in which he will face either Corentin Moutet or Aslan Karatsev in his first match.
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