Wimbledon is done, the US Open is around the corner, and we have clay court events all over Europe. Another week on the tennis tour begins:
Hamburg 250, Germany:
The women are still on the clay this week in Germany, in a 250 event, where Donna Vekic will be the top seed. Unfortunately for Australia, her first round opponent will be Storm Hunter, who is trying to boost her singles ranking, at the same time as dominating the doubles circuit. Mayer Sherif has been in decent form lately, and with floaters like Kaia Kanepi and Martina Trevisan, it should be a good week in Hamburg.
Warsaw 250, Poland:
A bit of drama here, with Vera Zvonereva denied a visa to enter the country and play in the tournament. However, the big drawcard here is obviously Iga Swiatek, who would be excited to play back on home soil, and will be looking to get back on the winners list. She will be the clear favourite, but others to look out for are Karolina Muchova, the second seed, Shuai Zhang, Linda Fruhvirtova, and Katerina Siniakova.
Lausanne 250, Switzerland:
No top 30 players here, and it is an issue for the WTA that the top players aren’t allowed to play in the 250 events regularly. There’s still plenty of talent, but it’d be nice to see some of the best at these events. Romanian, Irina-Camelia Begu is the top seed, ranked 31. Also in the field, is Alize Cornet, Elisabetta Cocciaretto, Ana Bogdan, and young gun Mirra Andreeva, who is coming off a Wimbledon high.
Hamburg 500, Germany:
The men gather in Hamburg this week too, and regardless of the timing in the calendar of this event, it has still assembled plenty of top players. Casper Ruud and Andrey Rublev will be the top 2 seeds, and only top 10 players. However, with Lorenzo Musetti, Alexander Zverev, Francisco Cerundolo, and Tomas Martin Etcheverry also keen to get more clay court matches, it will be a competitive week. No Aussies heading to Germany this week however.
Umag 250, Croatia:
Not a field that immediately warrants your attention, but quite an interesting one nonetheless. With two grand slam champions in the draw, in Stan Wawrinka, and Dominic Thiem, plus top seeds, Jiri Lehecka and Lorenzo Sonego, who have both been in good form this season, there’s plenty to look forward to. For the Aussies, Alexei Popyrin and Christopher O’Connell continue to battle away on the clay for at least another week.
Atlanta 250, USA:
A far stronger 250 event on paper here, as plenty of players are keen to get onto the hard courts. That includes lots of Australians, including defending champion Alex de Minaur as the second seed. Joining him, will be Jordan Thompson, Aleksandar Vukic, Max Purcell, and Thanasi Kokkinakis, who will take on Gael Monfils, in what could be a ‘last man standing’ match up. With Taylor Fritz as top seed, and Kei Nishikori also lurking in the field, this shapes up to be a great event.
ATP Challenger Tour:
Zug 125, Switzerland:
Hometown hero, Dominic Stricker will be back as second seed, to defend his title, with Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech taking the top seeded position. No Aussies here this week, but Italian, Fabio Fognini continues to try to get his ranking back into the top 100, after having slipped down to 128, having started the year close to the top 50.
Segovia 100, Spain:
A historic event, which has been going for over 30 years, and not many Challenger events have an honour board that includes Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro!. Throw in Fernando Verdasco, Feliciano Lopez, and Sergi Bruguera, and it’s clearly a tournament to win.
Hard to see any major winners coming from this years event, but stranger things have happened. Hungarian Marton Fucsovics is the sole top 100 player, while Verdasco gets a WC to try to re-create some former glory here.
Verona 100, Italy:
Holger Rune won this event back in 2021, and has certainly kicked on to big things, so it does show, you never know who you’ll see playing a Challenger. No top 100 players this year, but former top 10 player, David Goffin will take the top seeded position. For the Aussies, Marc Polmans enters as 6th seed, and will be looking to recapture some of his early season form, as the wins have dried up a liitle in the last two months.
Salinas 75, Ecuador:
This event has been going for 20 editions, and includes winners such as David Nalbandian, and Nicholas Jarry. This year, there is a heap of Aussies heading here to get some hard court matches under their belt. Omar Jasika, Adam Walton, Tristan Schoolkate, Li Tu, Dane Sweeny, Bernard Tomic, Philip Sekulic, and Alex Bolt are all flying the flag in South America.
Astana 50, Kazakhstan:
Max Purcell took this event out a couple of years ago, but he has since lifted his ranking to new heights, so doesn’t need to play the lowest tier of Challenger events. Clearly this is the weakest tournament for the week, with home town favourite, 35 year old Mikhail Kukushikin as the top seed. He has been as high as 39, but is now sitting at 223. This event might be the kickstart he needs to work his way back into the top 200.
W100 Figuera da Foz, Portugal:
For the Aussies, Arina Rodionova will make an appearance in Portugal this week. She has shown some form in the W40’s and below, but hasn’t quite taken the next step this year, so this will be a good challenge for her. It’s not a strong field, so she’ll have chances. Arina is ranked just outside the top 200, and with no player in the draw ranked inside 130, it should be a very competitive event. Top seed is Spaniard, Marina Bassols Ribera, with Britain’s Harriet Dart also expected to go deep this week.
W60 Dallas, USA:
No Aussies appearing here, but Madison Brengle and Kayla Day, of the USA will be the top seeds, in what looks to be an open event, outside those top two.
M/W15 Caloundra, Australia:
The ITF tour rolls back into Australia, with Queensland playing host. A swathe of Aussies all hoping to get a few valuable points on home soil. Kaylah McPhee, ranked 464 will go in as a clear top seed on the women's side with the majority of the field outside 700.
On the mens side Dayne Kelly will be the top seed with Luke Saville as the 2nd seed jetting back from Roehampton where he won the 25K on the weekend.
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