• Davydenko, Monfils, Ferrero headline in Stuttgart

    7/12/10 1:36 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Davydenko, Monfils, Ferrero headline in Stuttgart The tireless 2010 ATP season heads back to the clay for another week prior to the U.S. Open Series. In Stuttgart, the four players with first-round byes are Nikolay Davydenko, Jurgen Melzer, Gael Monfils, and Juan Carlos Ferrero.

    Nikolay Davydenko won his first tournament of the season, staging an improbable comeback to defeat Rafael Nadal in the Doha final. But it's been all downhill for the Russian ever since.

    Davydenko blew a huge lead against Roger Federer in the Australian Open quarterfinals, suffered a wrist fracture in Miami, and has not won more than a single match in each of his past four tournaments, including--most recently--Wimbledon. The world No. 6, however, has a chance to turn things around this week as the top seed at Stuttgart's Mercedes Cup.

    Joining Davydenko in a relatively strong 250-point field is Jurgen Melzer, Gael Monfils, and Juan Carlos Ferrero. The group of top four seeds gets byes straight to the second round as the draw size of this clay-court event is 28 rather than 32. Also looking to contend are seeded players Albert Montanes, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Gilles Simon, and Victor Hanescu.

    If the seeds hold to form, quarterfinal matchups would be as follows: Davydenko vs. Hanescu, Monfils vs. Kohlschreiber, Ferrero vs. Simon, and Melzer vs. Montanes.

    Several favorites, however, have tough roads through the draw. Montanes opens with an in-form Philipp Petzschner, Kohlschreiber kicks off his campaign against fellow German Florian Mayer, Davydenko's first match could come against defending champion Jeremy Chardy, and Ferrero could be tested right away by Horacio Zeballos.

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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