Mercedes Cup is ready for superstar Nadal and Haas’ comeback

First round of the qualifying took place at the new green venue of the TC Weissenhof (photo: Mercedes Cup)

STUTTGART, June 06, 2015

The main draw ceremony of the inaugural Mercedes Cup on grass took place at the venue of the TC Weissenhof in Stuttgart on Saturday.

In the 28-man-draw, the four top-seeds receive a bye in the first round. The tournament’s main attraction, Rafael Nadal, will face the winner of Marcos Baghdatis and Lukas Rosol in his opening match. The 29-year-old Spaniard lost to the Czech in a memorable match in Wimbledon in 2012, but got his revenge two years later at the same place, winning in four sets. A third meeting on grass between the two could be possible in Stuttgart.

Tommy Haas will return to the courts, facing Mikhail Kukushkin in his comeback match. The 37-year-old German lost the only previous meeting between the two in Miami in 2009. Haas, who dropped in the ATP rankings to 1044th position due to shoulder injury and entered Stuttgart’s main draw through a wild card, will play his first encounter since retiring against Jurgen Zopp in first round at Roland Garros one year ago. Haas could meet Nadal for a potential quarterfinal clash.

Second seed Marin Cilic will face a qualifier in his opening match and the tournament’s third favourite Feliciano López takes on the winner of Sergiy Stakhovsky and world number 85 Sam Groth, last direct acceptance of the main draw.

Gael Monfils competes in his first tournament since the ATP Masters 1000 in Madrid in the first week of May. In his opening match, the fourth-seeded French will face the winner of Andreas Haider-Maurer and Maximilian Marterer. The latter received the second wild card. The final invitation went to German teenage-talent Alexander Zverev. The 18-year-old will face Radek Stepanek, who is twice the German’s age.

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The first day of the qualifying took also place with the two top-seeds prevailing. Filip Krajinovic withstood 21 aces beating Daniel Brands 6-7, 7-6, 7-5 in two hours and 28 minutes.

The qualification’s second seed Dustin Brown was untroubled in his encounter, winning 6-2, 6-1 in only 43 minutes against wild card Sebastian Sachs.