Obviously, when it comes to any grass tournament, Roger Federer is going to be the favorite at Stuttgart. The 20-time grand slam champion has a total of 17 titles on grass (9 at Halle and 8 at Wimbledon). Since the tournament changed to grass in 2015, Federer has played here twice (2016 semis loss to Thiem and 2017 1st round loss to Hass). This would be the only concern for Fed fans. But, after the Haas match, Federer went undefeated on grass and took the titles in Halle and Wimbledon. So expect Federer to settle for nothing less than the title.
Kyrgios is quite the character on the court but when he is under control he is sometimes unbeatable. Kyrgios has the talent to play with anyone and this tournament can be a good start for him. One thing that can stop Kyrgios is injuries. Injuries have halted Kyrgios and he is coming off an injury that forced him to withdrawal from the French Open. Look for a healthy Kyrgios to make a deep run here.
Pouille is the defending champ and he has risen to world number 18. As of right now, that will make him the number two seed in Stuttgart so he will receive a favorable draw. Pouille has been under the radar, but he plays very well on the grass. If he is firing on all cylinders, there is no reason to think that he can’t contend to repeat here.
Milos made it to the Wimbledon Final in 2016 where he lost to hometown favorite Andy Murray. He beat Federer in the semis that year and Raonic is very good on the grass. His monster serve and strong forehand has brought him success on the grass. The only reason he isn’t a favorite here is his history of injuries. He didn’t play the French and we don’t know how fit the guy is. If he is healthy he can make a deep run here.
Everyone remembers Chung’s run at the Australian Open where he made the semis and beat Djokovic along the way. He did win the Challengers final last year and has looked really good. There isn’t much about him on the grass, but there is no reason to believe that the grass should stop him from overachieving. His run from earlier this year should give him confidence and this tournament will be a good evaluation to see if he will be a contender at Wimbledon.
Shapovalov has shown signs of greatness on the tour. He has great groundstrokes and when he is firing on all cylinders, he is one that can give anyone a good fight. The one thing that stops him is consistency. He needs to put a string of great matches together to really become a favorite. This will be a good tournament to try to do that. Don’t expect him to win, but he can a few matches.
- Dominick brings THE SLICE from Jackson, USA.