Tennis Grass Court Season: From Federer to Kyrgios, the Wimbledon Contenders of the ATP.

The grass court season is a build up to its premier event, and enough matches have been played to guess a possible Wimbledon winner this year.

The semi-final between Kyrgios and Federer was a nail-biter to the very end.

Roger Federer’s semi-final against Nick Kyrgios was a nail-biter to the very end. Roger summoned all his experience and talent to win 6-7 (2), 6-2, 7-6 (5). Nick is a talented and explosive player who held a 1-1 record against Roger. They have played eight tie-breaks in the nine sets between them so far.

 

This was Roger’s third attempt to win the title in Stuttgart.

He was sent packing in the quarterfinals by Dominic Thiem in 2016, and in the first match against, his good friend, Tommy Haas last year. Federer was taken to the third set, in the second round, by Mischa Zverev. Federer has lost close matches against the serve and volley experts, and the first match of the grass court season, against an old-school serve and volley player, is never easy.

Nick Kyrgios had reached the semi-finals by taking out Feliciano Lopez, in three, in the quarters. Feliciano, on the other hand, had beaten Gilles Simon in the second and Victor Troicki in the first.

Roger Federer beat Milos Raonic to win the finals at the Mercedes Cup.

To reach the finals, Milos Raonic overcame a stiff resistance from Tomas Berdych in the quarters and Lucas Pouille in the semi-final. Milos, however, was able to get past them in straight sets. Milos lost the finals 6-4, 7-6 (3) to Roger and Roger Federer was successfully able to fend off two big servers in a row. With the win in the finals, Roger improved 11-3 against Raonic.

 

Milos Raonic loses to Roger Federer in Stuttgart Finals

Milos Raonic is one of the contenders for the Wimbledon title in 2018.

Raonic is a Wimbledon finalist, and the grass is his surface of choice. His service is highly-effective on the grass and, depending on the draw, he stands a chance at winning the title.

 

Borna Coric’s performance in Halle helped him notch his first win against Roger Federer.

Roger Federer, after his title win at the Stuttgart Open the previous week, was the favorite to win Halle for the 10th time. He, however, lost in three sets to Borna Coric who was in unbelievable form throughout the tournament and scored wins over Alexander Zverev, Nikoloz Basilashvili, Andreas Seppi, and Roberto Bautista Agut. In the finals, Borna showed grit to close the match and notch his first 7-6 (6), 3-6, 6-2 victory over the great Roger Federer.

 

Borna Coric can play on grass

Roger Federer was the favorite to list his 10th Gary Webber Open title in Halle.

Roger Federer did not have it easy to the finals and looked visibly drained in it. His path to the final was marked by close matches against, the not so highly ranked, Benoit Paire, Mathew Ebden, and Dennis Kudla.

Roger Federer sliced the ball more at Halle than Stuttgart and was not as effective as Borna in the important points. Federer, however, won more overall points than Coric, but not enough of the important ones.

 

Richard Gasquet trumped Jeremy Chardy at the Libema Open in the Netherlands.

The Libema Open in the Netherlands was won 6-3, 7-6 (5), over Jeremy Chardy, by Richard Gasquet. Richard faced two tough tie-breaks in the quarterfinal against Stefanos Tsitsipas and a three-set duel against the resurrected Bernard Tomic in the semis.

 

Bernard Tomic Resurrected

Bernard Tomic resurrected himself at the Libema Open.

Bernard Tomic overcame seasoned pros in Robin Hasse and Fernando Verdasco to earn his spot in the semi-finals. It was a pleasant surprise to see Tomic back on track again. We hope he can stick to the program and maximize his potential as a player. He truly impressed with his wins over Robin Hasse in the second and Fernando Verdasco in the quarterfinal.

 

The Fever Tree Open in London showcased the best grass-court players.

The Queen’s Club Championship in London this year featured Marin Cilic as the top seed and Grigor Dimitrov as the second seed. The tournament also marked the return of Andy Murray after a lengthy lay-off due to a hip injury. It also included Novak Djokovic, Tomas Berdych, Dennis Shapovalov, Stan Wawrinka, and David Goffin. The past winners of the tournaments, participating this year, included Cilic, Murray, Dimitrov, and Sam Querrey. Andy Murray is a five times winner of the event and was hungry to announce his return to competitive tennis at this event.

 

Marin Cilic’s journey to the finals of the Fever Tree Open.

Marin’s journey to the final was marked with victories over the big-hitting Fernando Verdasco, ever dangerous Gilles Muller, past champion Sam Querrey, and talented Nick Kyrgios. Muller had ousted the talented Dennis Shapovalov in the earlier round, and Sam Querrey had shown Stan Wawrinka the door in the second. Nick Kyrgios had claimed the noteworthy scalps of Andy Murray in the first, Kyle Edmunds in the second, and Feliciano Lopez in the quarterfinals. Marin Cilic’s opponents, therefore, were not only seasoned grass court players but also brimming with confidence from their performances in earlier rounds.

 

Novak Djokovic decided to play the grass season

Novak Djokovic’s journey to the finals of the Fever Tree Open.

With his straight-sets drubbing of John Millman, Grigor Dimitrov, Adrian Mannarino, and Jeremy Chardy, Novak Djokovic finally announced his intent to be back where he rightfully belongs. Djokovic had been struggling with injuries and the lack of form and focus since winning the French Open title in 2016. He had not reached a final in nearly a year, and his efforts to regain lost form was cut short by an Italian journeyman at the French Open.

Marin Cilic beat Novak Djokovic 5-7, 7-6 (4), 6-3 to claim the Fever Tree Open.

Novak Djokovic took advantage of Cilic’s error-prone game and inability to convert even one of the six break-point opportunities he created in the first set. Novak, however, could not convert the match-point he held in the second and seemed a little out-of-breath in the third.

 

 

Marin Cilic eventually won the 2 hours 57 minutes battle. He had lost the event a year ago, after being up a match point, against Feliciano Lopez. This time, however, he held his nerves to win the title for himself.

 

The Eastbourne Open in London.

In the quarterfinals at the Nature Valley International in Eastbourne, Mischa Zverev ousted Dennis Shapovalov 6-3, 6-3 in his quarter and will face Mikhail Kukushkin, in the semis. Kukushkin defeated Kyle Edmund 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 in his quarter. In the other semi-final Marco Cecchinato will take on Lukas Lacko on Friday.

 

Our picks for the Wimbledon title title this year:

  • Roger Federer is our top contender for the Wimbledon crown this year. His all-court creative genius, controlled aggression, and the ability to take time away from the opponent is not only enhanced but also more damaging on grass. However, excessive slowing down of the grass has taken the bite out of his slices which, we believe, are not as damaging as they once were. His short cross-court slices, however, when utilized at opportune moments, can still win him some crucial points. Roger has had ample matches since his return after three months and the week off, prior to Wimbledon, will help him recover for the big event.
  • Marin Cilic’s performance on the grass, so far, has clearly placed him a little above the rest as our next pick to win Wimbledon.
  • Novak Djokovic, by reaching the finals in London, has brought himself in the conversation. His performance in the earlier rounds will, however, determine how far he could go in this year’s championship.
  • Rafael Nadal just won the French Open for a record 11th time and cannot be discounted here.
  • Others who could win the whole damn thing include Nick Kyrgios, and Milos Raonic.

Let the games begin.