I’m a frequent visitor to this event, but not this year. It’s a shame, especially considering the starting field of the MercedesCup 2021.
Stuttgart, 19th May 2021. – Due to the overlap of the French Open’s second week, there is the possibility of some changes to the entry list of the MercedesCup 2021 from 7th-13th June 2021, but by the deadline, on Monday evening the list of players have committed to the ATP grass-court tournament at Stuttgart’s Weissenhof boasts a multitude of great names! The main draw is led by Alexander Zverev, who has already won the tournaments in Acapulco and Madrid this year.
Alongside the German number one, Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO/Doha, Munich), Hubert Hurkacz (POL/Delray Beach, Miami), Alex de Minaur (AUS/Antalya), Jannik Sinner (ITA/Melbourne – Great Ocean Road Open), Alexei Popyrin(AUS/Singapur), Aslan Karatsev (RUS/Dubai), Cristian Garin (CHI/Santiago) and Lorenzo Sonego (ITA/Cagliari) eight more winners of ATP tournaments in 2021 have committed to the MercedesCup. This multitude of great players also leads to Popyrin possibly having to take the detour of the qualification to even reach the main draw and fight for the title in Stuttgart. As Australian Nick Kyrgios will not participate in the French Open, his participation in Stuttgart is already confirmed.
Stan the Man is back
Stan Wawrinka, who lost the Stuttgart final 2007 – back then still played on clay – in two sets against clay court king Rafael Nadal, also plans his return to Stuttgart. The Swiss has an impressive calling card with three Grand Slam triumphs (Australian Open 2014, French Open 2015, US Open 2016) and 13 ATP tour tournament victories. The Canadian top 20 trio of Denis Shapovalov (ATP-15), Milos Raonic (16) and Felix Auger-Aliassime (19) also plans to compete in Stuttgart. Raonic (2018) and Auger-Aliassime (2019) have already shown their grass-court skills by reaching the final of the MercedesCup. Then, there is also Germany’s number 2, Jan-Lennard Struff, who lost to later tournament winner Matteo Berrettini (ITA) in 2019’s semi-final.
The magic number for the cut-off for the main draw is 42 in the world rankings. This also shows how popular this year’s MercedesCup is. Furthermore, there are no less than four players who are currently in the top 10 of the “Race to Turin”/ATP Season Finale: Zverev (4), Australian Open semi-finalist Karatsev (7), Hurkacz (8) and Sinner (10).
Due to the special situation concerning the scheduling conflict with the second week of the French Open, qualification is set to start on Monday, 7th June 2021. The main draw will commence on Tuesday, 8th June 2021. Also, the organizers have been allowed to issue five instead of the usual three wild cards. “Despite the difficult situation, we can look forward to an appealing and first-class MercedesCup with this crop of players. Of course, we know that there could be changes to our main draw depending on how the first week of the French Open develops. In return, we will keep some of our wild cards until the last possible moment, so we are able to react to what happens in Paris”, explains MercedesCup tournament director Edwin Weindorfer.