Tennis Club Bad Homburg in Germany will host the first edition of the event. The tournament had to make its debut last year but due to Covid-19 pandemic it was postponed for 12 months later.
Not a single top 10 player here after the late withdrawal of Simona Halep because of calf injury.
Top seed Petra Kvitova returns to her most preferable surface of them all. 2 times Grand Slam champion, both in Wimbledon (2011,2014) has lost some of the unbeatable and very hard to beat aura she got early on in her career over the years. She still has been unable to pass the 4th round in Wimbledon after 2014 including some bad losses as huge favorite over the years. She has been doing ok in the tune up Grass court tournaments leading to Wimbledon though and still has one of the best w/l % on grass standing at 73.75% from 80 matches.
Kvitova is surrounded with players who hasn’t had any or very limited grass court experience with only 4th seed Angelique Kerber proven at least on paper to make her run for her money.
Kerber who is still fighting to regain some sort of form after winning Wimbledon in 2018 run into Victoria Azarenka in the R2 in Berlin just last week. She was mixing very good shots with bad decisions throughout and despite getting up twice with a break in set 2 she was unable to close it out losing the last 4 games of the set and ultimately the match. With 74-29 w/l record and +12.8% ROI the German is one of the most experienced players here and I look for her to clean up some of the disappointment in the early loss last week in Berlin and at least make it to the SF where Petra should await her.
Not much can be said about the bottom part of the draw where Victoria Azarenka is the ultimate favorite to run through the field unbothered. The 2nd seed accepted a wild card into the event which comes timely just before her surprising lost to Samsonova in the semis in Berlin. The Belarussian has lot of experience on the surface holding a nice 49-24 record and there is not much competition surrounding her that could push her on paper. If it’s not a surprising outcome just like against Samsonova I simply don’t see anyone that can beat her.
This tournament has Kvitova – Azarenka final written all over it. As you could see I haven’t mentioned any Dark Horses, as I simply don’t see enough potential in anyone to pull the trigger on them. I do believe some new stars could emerge on grass court but I am just unable to find any this here this week.