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Corona ATP Weekly Slice: Nadal Seeks 700th Win In Halle

Corona ATP Slice

Tap into the essentials of the week ahead and re-live the highlights of the past week with Corona ATP Weekly Slice, as we serve up an executive summary of what every fan should know, along with a look at the best in social media.

LOOKING AHEAD

The five-tournament grass-court circuit gets underway with traditional strong events at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle and the Aegon Championships at the Queen’s Club in London. Seven of the Top 10 (14 of Top 20) in the Emirates ATP Rankings will be in action (as of May 26 ranking).

Gerry Weber Open (Halle)
Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer lead the 22nd edition of the Gerry Weber Open. There are seven of the Top 20 in the field. Other expected seeds are: No. 3 Milos Raonic, No. 4 Kei Nishikori, No. 5 Richard Gasquet, No. 6 Mikhail Youzhny, No. 7 Tommy Haas, and No. 8 Jerzy Janowicz. Federer, who owns a tournament record six titles, is one of three former winners in the field, along with Haas (2009, ’12) and Philipp Kohlschreiber (2011). Nishikori broke into the Top 10 last month and Raonic is the youngest (23) in the Top 10.
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King of Grass – Federer is the most successful grass-court player in the Open Era with 13 titles and a .871 match winning percentage on the surface, according to the FedEx ATP Win/Loss Index. More than one-third of Federer’s 122 career match wins have come in Halle where he is 43-5, winning six titles in 2003-06, ’08 and ’13. Federer rallied to beat Mikhail Youzhny 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 in last year’s final. He has won at least one grass court title in nine of the past 11 years (except 2010-11).

Rafa Returns – Top seed Rafael Nadal is returning to Halle for the third time (1-2 record). Two years ago he reached the quarter-finals (l. to Kohlschreiber) and he made his debut in 2005 after his maiden Roland Garros crown. He lost to Alexander Waske in the first round. He has played five other times at the Queen’s Club after winning Roland Garros, in 2006-08, ’10-11.

German Title HopesTommy Haas, the 2009 and ’12 champion, is one of five Germans to lift the champion’s trophy in the history of the tournament (since 1993). The other German winners are: Michael Stich (1994), Nicolas Kiefer (1999), David Prinosil (2000) and Philipp Kohlschreiber (2011). There are at least five Germans in the main draw, led by Haas and Kohlschreiber, Benjamin Becker, and wild cards Dustin Brown Jan-Lennard Struff.

Aegon Championships (Queen's Club, London)
The last five champions in the Aegon Championships are entered in this year’s tournament. The strong field is led by World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka, a wild card entry into the tournament making his second appearance at the Queen’s Club. The other expected Top 8 seeds are: No. 2 Tomas Berdych, No. 3 Andy Murray, No. 4 Grigor Dimitrov, No. 5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, No. 6 Ernests Gulbis, No. 7 Kevin Anderson and No. 8 Alexandr Dolgopolov. Murray, the defending champion, is a three-time winner on home soil (2009, ’11, ’13) and three other former champs are in the field: Marin Cilic (2012), Sam Querrey (2009) and four-time winner Lleyton Hewitt (2000-02, ’06).
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Stan Top Seed – Top seed Stan Wawrinka is the top seed time in the tournament. In his previous appearance three years ago, the then No. 14-ranked Wawrinka lost in his opening match (after a bye) to James Ward. The Swiss No. 1 has put together a blockbuster 2014 season in just the first four months of the season. He has won his first Grand Slam (Australian Open) and ATP Masters 1000 titles (Monte-Carlo) while reaching a career-high No. 3. The last player to accomplish that feat in a season was Rafael Nadal in 2005.

Lleyton Back Again –  Four-time former titlist Lleyton Hewitt is making his 15th appearance at the Queen’s Club. The 33-year-old Aussie has played the most singles matches (50) in the tournament, compiling a 40-10 match record. He made his debut at the age of 17 in 1998. Hewitt has 120 career grass court wins (120-36).

Queen’s, Wimbledon Title Sweep – Since its inception in 1979, there have been seven different players to complete the Queen's-Wimbledon title double in the same year, including John McEnroe (81, 84), Jimmy Connors (82), Boris Becker (85), Pete Sampras (95, 99), Lleyton Hewitt (2002), Rafael Nadal (2008), and Murray (2013).

Emirates ATP Rankings Movers
Andy Murray - 5 (+3 spots)
Ernests Gulbis - 10 (+7 spots) - career-high
Gael Monfils - 20 (+8 spots)
Marcel Granollers - 30 (+9 spots)
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez - 31 (+10 spots)

Potential Milestones (as of 9 June)
Halle - Singles
Rafael Nadal -- 699 wins
Gael Monfils -- 298 wins
Andreas Seppi -- 249 wins
Alejandro Falla -- 99 wins​​

Halle - Doubles
Julian Knowle -- 349 wins
Robert Lindstedt -- 297 wins

Queen's Club (London) - Singles
Andy Murray -- 448 wins
Jeremy Chardy -- 147 wins​​

Queen's Club (London) - Doubles
Mike Bryan -- 897 wins

Birthdays
11 Jun - Marsel Ilhan (27)
14 Jun - John Millman (25)
15 Jun - Peter Polansky (26)

Player To Watch: Andy MurrayMurray
Going back to the 2012 London Olympics, where he won the gold medal, Murray has won 18 consecutive grass court matches. The British No. 1, who will move back into the Top 5 Emirates ATP Rankings (from No. 8) after his impressive semi-final result at Roland Garros, has a 19-4 career record at the Queen’s Club. Last year he rallied from a set down in the semi-finals (d. Tsonga 4-6, 6-3, 6-2) and final (d. Cilic 5-7, 7-5, 6-3) to claim his third title at Queen’s. He ended up going on to capture his first Wimbledon crown (d. Djokovic), becoming the first British man to win at the All England Club in 77 years. Murray finished the season 12-0 on grass. Read: Murray Turns Focus To Grass

How To Watch
Watch both Halle and Queen's Club coverage 9-15 June. (Territorial restrictions apply.)
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WEEK IN REVIEW

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Video of the Week
Juan Martin del Potro takes part in his first on-court session in Argentina, following left wrist surgery on 24 March. Read More

In Case You Missed It...
Roland Garros: Rafael Nadal retained his World No. 1 mantle in the Emirates ATP Rankings by securing a ninth title at Roland Garros. His four-set victory over Novak Djokovic extended his win streak on the Parisian clay to 35 straight, ending the Serb's hopes of regaining the top ranking and completing the Career Grand Slam. “To me, winning is the result, the equivalent of lots of effort. Therefore, I feel more serene and personally I'm very satisfied.”

Tidbits
Ross Hutchins switches his tennis whites for a suit as the tournament director of the Aegon Championships.
More...
• Once a month, there will be a special edition of the weekly ATP Insider newsletter, guest-edited by one of the players. First up: Tomas Berdych. More...
Ernests Gulbis is the first player from Latvia to crack the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings following a semi-final finish in Roland Garros. He has his sights set on No. 1. More...
• See who Andy Murray selected as his Fantasy Football team comprised entirely of tennis players. More... 
• This month's FedEx ATP Performance Zone examines grass-court dynamos. More...
• Meet American rising star Denis Kudla as he eyes a return to the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings. More...

Photo Gallery: Roland Garros


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