Week In Preview: Medvedev, Svitolina headline in Hamburg, Strasbourg

Week In Preview: Medvedev, Svitolina headline in Hamburg, Strasbourg

The No. 5-ranked Russian and the No. 6-ranked Ukrainian are the top seeds at the final ATP and WTA events before Grand Slam action returns at Roland Garros.

Once upon a time there was a tournament called the German Open, which was the final leg in the run-up to Roland Garros. At some point, on the men’s side, it became known by the much-less-impressive name of “Hamburg.” Then it lost its prized position before Paris (the lawsuit the tournament filed to try to keep its spot nearly ended the ATP). Now, because of tennis’s upside-down 2020 schedule, the event is back where it once belonged, and with a good field to show for it.

Here’s a look ahead at Hamburg and the WTA tournament in Strasbourg. For many players, this will be the first and last chance to play on clay before Roland Garros begins on Sunday.

Hamburg European Open (ATP)

Hamburg, Germany
$1,700,000; ATP 500
Red clay
Draw is here

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The top headline in Hamburg isn’t who’s in the draw, but who isn’t. Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are missing, naturally; they just played in Rome. But also absent are the tour’s most prominent German speakers, Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev. The US Open finalists will go to Paris having not played any matches on clay. They must still be a little gassed, physically and mentally, after their four-hour psychodrama in New York.

But much of the rest of the ATP’s elite will be in Hamburg. That includes Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas—who has hopefully recovered from a US Open psychodrama of his own—Roberto Bautista Agut, Gael Monfils, Andrey Rublev, Diego Schwartzman, Karen Khachanov, Casper Ruud, Felix Auger-Aliassime, and two-time defending champion Nikoloz Basilashvili.

First-round matches to watch (there are a lot of them):
Medvedev vs. Ugo Humbert
Tsitsipas vs. Dan Evans
Ruud vs. Benoit Paire
Bautista Agut vs. Basilashvili
Jan-Lennard Struff vs. Khachanov
Rublev vs. Tennys Sandgren
Tommy Paul vs. Kevin Anderson
Yoshihito Nishioka vs. Rome quarterfinalist Dominik Koepfer

Strasbourg International (WTA)

Strasbourg, France
$225,500; WTA International
Red clay
Draw is here

Getty Images

Strasbourg is the smaller of two tour events this week, and it’s perilously close to Roland Garros, but it still has a better-than-normal field, as the women scramble to get their clay legs under them. Elina Svitolina, Kiki Bertens, Aryna Sabalenka, Elena Rybakina, Ekaterina Alexandrova and Sloane Stephens are among the seeds.

First-round matches to watch:
Jelena Ostapenko vs. Lauren Davis
Alexandrova vs. Su-Wei Hsieh

Already out: Amanda Anisimova. The No. 6 seed lost to Jill Teichmann on Sunday. Anisimova has semifinal points to defend in Paris.