Well, the draw gods have treated us to some stunning round one match ups at the ATP 500 event in Queens Club and the WTA Premier event in Birmingham where I will be next week. So let’s have a look?
Marin Cilic v Fernando Verdasco
Top seed Marin Cilic takes on an unpredictable Fernando Verdasco. Fernando’s game is very much at it’s best when he is able to sit on the baseline with time. He adapts well to all surfaces and recently secured his 500th career win on the tour. Fernando will provide a challenge and I think he could cause an upset here. Marin has been in good form this year with his Roland Garros ending at the quarter finals against Juan Martin Del Potro.
Stan Wawrinka v Cameron Norrie
I suppose the questions will follow for Stan. Stan is set to play here at Queens and then Wimbledon before making the switch to hard court. Stan has just pulled out of some clay events due to take part in July due to quick surface change and if things don’t go to plan here surely Wimbledon becomes a question mark?
Cam Norrie was good on the clay so it will be good to see him play at this big tournament against Stan who has no match rhythm this year something he is hoping to find as he teams up with Novak Djokovic in the doubles.
David Goffin v Feliciano Lopez
David Goffin never seems to get the luck, The Belgian’s year which has been good has been halted a few times by injury failing to pick up momentum where we expected him to be a major part of the clay court season and a first round match up against Feliciano Lopez who is of course the defending champion after a stunning run to win here last year having come here throughout his career.
Nick Kyrgios v Andy Murray
Stay tuned 😉
Jack Sock is in action against a tricky Daniil Medvedev who always provides a tricky test on grass. Milos Raonic is back in action after making the final in Stuttgart against Bhambri and could play Goffin/Lopez in R2.
Novak Djokovic is also at Queens Club and will open up against John Millman in R1 and round two match with second seed Grigor Dimitrov is possible!
Elina Svitolina v Donna Vekic
Well, I am hoping that this one doesn’t take to court until Wednesday but that’s unlikely! I’m so pleased Elina is here in Birmingham and I do hope to see her this week, likewise for Donna Vekic who is another player who becomes so dangerous on the grass courts.
Petra Kvitova v Johanna Konta
After an explosive end for Johanna Konta in her final loss against Ashleigh Barty in Nottingham and it won’t get any easier against the defending champion Petra Kvitova who has been quite sensational this year. Despite being in front of a home crowd I do expect a 50/50 atmosphere as Petra’s story and win here last year really connected with the crowd.
Daria Gavrilova v Dominika Cibulkova
Two players I love watching. On their day they are unstoppable but unfortunately for Dominika more her day hasn’t come too often. It’s easy to forget she is a former Grand Slam finalist and under two years ago was stunning at the WTA Finals in Singapore, I would love to see her reach those heights again.
Daria is good to watch. She’s lively from the baseline and when it all comes together she does perform well however when she doesn’t perform the wheels come off, frustration is visible and it becomes a bit of a circus.
Garbine Muguruza is the top seed and will open her week up against Pavlyuchenkova. British pair Heather Watson and Katie Boulter are also here and will open up against Tsurenko and Osaka respectively.
Pliskova, Mladenovic, Kasatkina and Nottingham champion Barty are also in action in Birmingham.