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ATP Stuttgart 2019 Draw Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Alexander Zverev and Karen Khachanov lead the Stuttgart field as grass court season begins

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 10 Jun 2019
  • Alexander Zverev and Karen Khachanov leads the Stuttgart field, with Nick Kyrgios, Gael Monfils and Daniil Medvedev also present
  • The Mercedes Cup is live from Stuttgart from 10-16 June
Alexander Zverev (Photo Herbert Rudel).

Alexander Zverev begins his grass-court season at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, where he leads a quality field that also includes Karen Khachanov, Daniil Medvedev, Nick Kyrgios and former champion, Lucas Pouille. The Mercedes Cup is live from Stuttgart from 10-16 June.

The swift transition from clay to grass is often one of the most intriguing parts of the year, with the players getting just three weeks to dust the clay off their shoes and fine-tune their grass-court games in readiness for Wimbledon.

The Stuttgart draw features six top-20 players, with Zverev joined by Khachanov, Medvedev, Nikoloz Basilashvili, Gael Monfils and Milos Raonic, while Kyrgios and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are among unseeded but very dangerous floaters.

We have taken a detailed look at the Stuttgart draw, and made our predictions.

First Quarter

Projected Quarter Final: Alexander Zverev (1) vs Felix Auger-Aliassime (7)

Alexander Zverev is playing in Stuttgart for the first time since 2015, when he lost to Viktor Troicki in the second round. He had fallen to Lukas Rosol in the first round of his tournament debut in 2014-when the event was still held on clay. Zverev has had a generally disappointing year, but he showed some decent form towards the end of the clay-court season, winning his first title of the season in Geneva, and extending his winning streak to eight matches in a quarter final run at the French Open before he was stopped by Novak Djokovic. Can he build on that run, and produce a better second half of the year?

Zverev is no slouch on grass- he’s reached the Halle final in 2016 and 2017- the same year he made the fourth round at Wimbledon. He’s got a bye into the second round in Stuttgart, where he could potentially open against John Millman in a repeat of their French Open first-round tie which went five sets. Millman must first get past a qualifier in his opening round. Should Zverev get through, he is projected to play Canadian young gun, Felix Auger-Aliassime in the quarter finals. Auger-Aliassime faces the unpredictable Ernests Gulbis in the first round, and could take on either Gilles Simon or Peter Gojowczyk in the second round. It’s very tough to pick out anyone in that bottom section of the quarter as Gulbis, but I’ll take a wild guess and go for the experience of former Wimbledon quarter finalist, Simon to come through to play Zverev in the last eight.

Predicted Quarter Final: Alexander Zverev vs Gilles Simon
Semi-Finalist: Alexander Zverev

Second Quarter

Projected Quarter Final: Nikoloz Basilashvili (4) vs Milos Raonic (6)

After missing the entire clay-court season due to a knee injury, Milos Raonic returns to action at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, where he’ll attempt to go one better than last year’s runner-up finish. It would appear unrealistic for Raonic to go deep in Stuttgart, having just returned from a fairly lengthy lay-off, but the Canadian cannot be discounted on a grass court, where his big serve is even more accentuated. Besides, Raonic had also arrived Stuttgart last year under an injury cloud- he had missed Roland Garros due to a knee complaint- but he still went on to make the final, where he lost to Roger Federer.

He opens against a qualifier, but he faces a tough second round as he could potentially run into Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who should take out the out-of-sorts Mischa Zverev in his own opening round (Zverev is 1-9 this year). Whoever comes through Raonic and Tsonga is projected to meet the hard-hitting Nikoloz Basilashvili in the quarter finals, but the Georgian, who has a first-round bye will have to get through Hungarian, Marton Fucsovics or Spanish young gun, Jaume Munar in the second round.

Predicted Quarter Final: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga vs Marton Fucsovics
Semi-Finalist: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Third Quarter

Projected Quarter Final: Daniil Medvedev (3) vs Denis Shapovalov (8)

Daniil Medvedev made a surprisingly good start to the clay-court season, reaching the semi-finals in Monte Carlo and the final in Barcelona, but he fell away sharply towards the end, suffering consecutive opening round defeats in Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros. With his big-serving and flat ground strokes, he could be very dangerous on grass, but I feel he needs to play a lot more aggressively than he did on the clay-courts to maximize his potentials on this surface. 

Following a first-round bye in Stuttgart, Medvedev will attempt to snap his current four-match losing streak when he opens his campaign against either 2017 champion, Lucas Pouille or a qualifier. I see Medvedev getting past Pouille (who has struggled since reaching the semi-finals of the Australian Open at the start of the year), moving on to a potential quarter final against Denis Shapovalov.

Shapovalov faces a very tough start, as he takes on the heavy-hitting Jan-Lennard Struff, who beat the Canadian in the first round of the French Open, and reached the fourth round of Roland Garros. Whoever gets through could face German veteran, and two-time finalist, Philipp Kohlschreiber in the second round, provided Kohlschreiber beats Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic in the first round.

Predicted Quarter Final: Daniil Medvedev vs Philipp Kohlschreiber
Semi-Finalist: Daniil Medvedev

Fourth Quarter

Projected Quarter Finalist: Karen Khachanov vs Gael Monfils

Fresh off his quarter final run at Roland Garros, Karen Khachanov has been handed a very difficult draw in Stuttgart, with the Russian potentially opening against Nick Kyrgios, before a possible match-up with Gael Monfils.

When Khachanov won the Paris Masters at the end of last year to reach No. 11 in the world, it seemed just a matter of time before he broke into the top ten, but he couldn’t quite find his form in the opening months of the season, failing to cross the opening round in eight of his first ten tournaments of the season. However, he had a strong finish to the clay-court season, reaching the third round in Madrid, and the last eight at the French Open- the furthest he had gone at a major. Can he carry on that form in Stuttgart?

He’ll need it, as he could open against Kyrgios in the second round. Controversial Australian Kyrgios is back in action in Stuttgart after pulling out of the French Open reportedly due to illness (although it was hardly a surprise that he withdrew given his less than complementary comments about the tournament a few days earlier), and for all the shenanigans around him, he is a very potent player on this surface. I think he will get past Matteo Berrettini in the opening round, and beat Khachanov in the second round to make the quarters, where he could run into Gael Monfils in a fun match-up! Monfils plays Steve Johnson in the first round, and either Denis Kudla or a qualifier in the second.

Predicted Quarter Final: Nick Kyrgios vs Gael Monfils
Semi-Finalist: Gael Monfils

Alexander Zverev vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Daniil Medvedev vs Gael Monfils

Alexander Zverev vs Gael Monfils

Gael Monfils

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ATP Stuttgart 2019 Draw Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Alexander Zverev and Karen Khachanov lead the Stuttgart field as grass court season begins

Alexander Zverev and Karen Khachanov lead the field at the Mercedes Cup, live from Stuttgart from 10-16 June. Read our draw preview, predictions and stream the matches live online

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