• Ferrer, Wawrinka kick off 's-Hertogenbosch campaigns

    6/18/13 6:33 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Ferrer, Wawrinka kick off 's-Hertogenbosch campaigns David Ferrer will contest his 's-Hertogenbosch opener on Tuesday against Xavier Malisse. Stanislas Wawrinka and Igor Sijsling are also in action.

    (1) David Ferrer vs. Xavier Malisse

    Ferrer and Malisse will be squaring off for the fifth time in their careers when they collide in round one of the Topshelf Open on Tuesday afternoon. The head-to-head series is tied up at two wins apiece and they have never met on grass. They most recently faced each other three years ago at the French Open, where Ferrer was leading by two sets and a break before Malisse retired.

    Grass should at least give the underdog Belgian a realistic chance. Malisse, ranked 60th in the world at 32 years old, is a former Wimbledon semifinalist (2002) and he has reached the fourth round each of the last two seasons. He also advanced one round last week at Queen's Club before losing to Juan Martin Del Potro 7-6(5), 1-6, 7-5. Ferrer may be at his best on clay, but he is a two-time champion of this 's-Hertogenbosch event--including last year. Look for the French Open runner-up to prevail in two competitive sets.

    Igor Sijsling vs. (2) Stanislas Wawrinka

    Sijsling and Wawrinka will be going head-to-head for the first time in their careers on Tuesday. Wawrinka is an outstanding 30-10 for his 2013 campaign and he already has to be thinking about World Tour Finals contention. The 10th-ranked Swiss finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal in Madrid and he reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros before once again succumbing to the eventual Spanish champion.

    This should be a high-quality affair, because both men are in stellar form. Sijsling owns 13 of his 26 lifetime ATP-level match victories this season and he is up to a career-high ranking of 59th in the world. The Dutchman, who will enjoy home-court advantage in this one, made it to the third round at Queen's Club before falling to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5, 5-7, 6-3. Sijsling is a tough opponent, but he is not Nadal--and Wawrinka has not lost to anyone other than Nadal since Monte-Carlo in early April. The No. 2 seed in straight sets is the pick.

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ferrer shocked

isfand , 6/18/13 5:00 PM

Not really. X Man has always been very good on grass. Ferrer does not deserve #4 seed at Wimbledon clearly.

chr18 , 6/18/13 7:27 PM

the guy was no 4 as well as defending champion cut him some slack man

isfand , 6/18/13 10:29 PM

Anyone who slags a player who's as lovable, hard-working, and un-controversial as Ferrer must be out of his mind...

phoenix , 6/19/13 6:02 AM

Fed disagrees with you chr18. He said Ferru has been rock solid and deserves to be #4 seed.

rafaisthebest , 6/19/13 7:07 AM

Malisse is good grass player and his record at wimbledon has been decent ....numerous 4R & QF so its not that big upset.

mani4Tennis , 6/19/13 8:29 AM

Phoenix is right saying 'Anyone who slags a player who's as lovable, hard-working, and un-controversial as Ferrer must be out of his mind'

His famous tenacity and never-say-die attitude and his record against top 20 players is impressive. But up against the elite players he's never going to be the favourite to win.

Having said that I hope there is no behind the scenes manipulation to deny him the No.4 seed spot in favour of Rafa. I dont think Rafa would want that to happen to his friend and countryman.

ed251137 , 6/19/13 10:02 AM

ed, what behind scenes manipulation could possibly make Ferrer lose a match on purpose to put himself at a disadvantage? Are you suggesting that Ferrer is himself involved in a conspiracy theory to seed him #5 at Wimbledon?

The cut off point for Wimbledon was last week. The results of this week's tournament will not affect anything. The seedings will be announced today and Rafa will be seeded 5 and that's the end of it. I don't think anyone wants to deny Ferrer is #4 seeding.

nadline , 6/19/13 10:37 AM

^^^^I thought you were going?

Twinge , 6/19/13 10:57 AM

People, stop portraying Ferru like some helpless bambi who needs protection. He is a pro, able to deal with whatever is thrown at him. If he draws a short straw, which will be impossible mathematically, and Wimby seeds him #5 he will deal with it.

There have been lots of behind the scenes manipulations in the sport to favour Federer in the past and present, nobody died. Why would it be so dastardly if it's Rafa given favours this time?

rafaisthebest , 6/19/13 10:58 AM

Like me, Johnnie Mac does not think it would be tragedy if Rafa was given preferential treatment and seeded #4; eeded-four-wimbledon-194200066.html

"Speaking the day before the seeds are announced for the grasscourt slam which starts on Monday, the American said it would be "totally wrong" if Nadal had to play world number one Novak Djokovic, defending champion Roger Federer or home favourite Andy Murray in the quarter-finals.

On current rankings, used to determine seeds at most tournaments, Nadal is fifth behind David Ferrer whom he beat to win an eighth French Open title this month.

Should Nadal be seeded fifth at the All England Club, where he has twice triumphed, Nadal could be placed in the same quarter as one of the other members of the big four.

"In my opinion there is no doubt he should be in the top four," American McEnroe said in a conference call arranged by broadcaster ESPN on Tuesday.

"I don't think anyone would be put out, whatsoever. Wimbledon is the only one of the four majors that can change the seedings.

"I don't know how they do it exactly, apparently there's some kind of formula, but clearly he should be one of the top four seeds in my book."

Anyway, we will know in an hour's time what the powers that be decide.

rafaisthebest , 6/19/13 11:31 AM

The official wimbledon website shows the sked of the draw as this coming Friday, is it going to be today?

phoenix , 6/19/13 11:36 AM

^^^The seedings will be announced today but the draw will be on Friday.

nadline , 6/19/13 11:38 AM

oh thanks nadline...i am not excited for today then coz i'm pretty sure already that Rafa will be seeded 5th.

phoenix , 6/19/13 11:42 AM

Seedings announced

1 DJOKOVIC, Novak (SRB) [1]
2 MURRAY, Andy (GBR) [2]
3 FEDERER, Roger (SUI) [3]
4 FERRER, David (ESP) [4]
5 NADAL, Rafael (ESP) [5]
6 TSONGA, Jo-Wilfried (FRA) [6]
7 BERDYCH, Tomas (CZE) [7]
8 DEL POTRO, Juan Martin (ARG) [8]
9 GASQUET, Richard (FRA) [9]
10 CILIC, Marin (CRO) [10]

nadline , 6/19/13 11:50 AM

^^Game on!

rafaisthebest , 6/19/13 11:57 AM

There is no official Wimbledon thread on TT, so there is nowhere to discuss it.

In my humble opinion, I think the top 4 seeds are all vulnerable to all of the 5-8 seeds; so whether Rafa is seeded or 5 makes little difference. The more important thing for Rafa is to have a good draw in the early rounds after which I doubt anyone would want to face him.

nadline , 6/19/13 11:58 AM

Wish: Rafa to be in Andy's half, Federer's quarter

Prediction: Rafa to be in Nole's half, Ferrer's quarter

phoenix , 6/19/13 11:59 AM

There is a Wimbledon thread in Approach Shots so I've posted the seedings there.

If Rafa ends up in Andy's half and Federer's Qtr, then Djoko will be left with just Ferrer to worry about and that will be too one-sided.

nadline , 6/19/13 12:03 PM

Couldn't care less whose half or quarter Rafa falls in, like @nadline, I am more interested in who Rafa plays in the first 3 rounds......

rafaisthebest , 6/19/13 12:05 PM

The only way to even things up a bit is for Rafa to be in Ferrer's quarter, doesn't matter which half?

phoenix , 6/19/13 12:09 PM

Couldn't care less whose half or quarter Rafa falls in, like @nadline, I am more interested in who Rafa plays in the first 3 rounds......

rafaisthebest , 6/19/13 12:12 PM

But nadline was saying that if my wish is granted, it would be too lopsided in favor of Nole. She must care, no? :-)

phoenix , 6/19/13 12:16 PM

^^^I'll reply to you in Approach Shots.

nadline , 6/19/13 12:20 PM

@phoenix, it's pointless worrying about what will happen in week 2 as far as Rafa is concerned if he is ousted in week 1. That is why I prefer to see how he navigates week 1 first and then see how week 2 unfolds. Don't forget, it is not a given that any of the top 4 will make it to week 2.

rafaisthebest , 6/19/13 12:25 PM

nadline, 6/19/13 10:37 AM

I was not implying that at all. Once again you are completely miscontruing what I said. I merely wondered out loud if the AELTA might come up at the last moment with some kind of special dispensation for Rafa. They cant be relishing a repeat of the RG scenario.

@11:50 AM. Justice has prevailed.

Like you say, whatever their seeding they still have to negotiate the early rounds. Wimbledon has a long history of top seeds being bundled out early - this is how the old No.2 court earnt the nickname Graveyard of Champions. A fate which befell people like Agassi, McEnroe, Sampras, Becker, Williams sisters etc. Although reading the brouhaha when Rafa exited last year one could be forgiven for thinking it was the first time it had ever happened.

ed251137 , 6/19/13 12:51 PM

^^^As you say Rafa was not the first to be 'bundled' out early at Wimbledon and he won't be the last.

#Vamos Rafa

nadline , 6/19/13 1:08 PM

I don't think there was any question of injustice being done to Ferrer in favour of Rafa. Wimbledon agreed the formula with the ITF in 2002 and they don't have the freedom to change it at will. They seed according to the WTA rankings but reserve the right to use their discretion if they see fit.

One could argue that they should have taken other things into account like injury time out and holding the title but they didn't at the time and that's that.

nadline , 6/19/13 1:26 PM

Agree, I think it's more a question of performance rather than justice. Ferru deserves his #4 ranking and seeding that's that. Now he will have to justify his seeding on the court like everybody else.

rafaisthebest , 6/19/13 2:06 PM

Rafa has made the finals of the last 9 of 11 majors he has entered.

For comparison,
Nole 8 of 11.
Muzz 4 of 11.
Fed 2 of 11.


Conspirator , 6/19/13 2:39 PM

'The proof of the pudding is in the eating'

ed251137 , 6/19/13 2:47 PM

@Conspirator and that is despite missing 3 Slams that I am aware of in the period.


rafaisthebest , 6/19/13 3:05 PM


I am with you in only being concerned about who Rafa will face in the early rounds. That is what is of immediate importance. He is coming in without any match play and the first few matches will be crucial for him to get the feel of grass again and make the adjustments. If he gets some big serving guys, then it could be tougher for him.

Even the quarterfinals is too far away. If Rafa can get through the early rounds and makes it to the second week then he will be finding his form and playing well. That's what he said and I think it's the best way to approach it. If he ends up playing one of the other top three in the quarters then it means that he played well enough to get there.

Nativenewyorker , 6/19/13 7:20 PM

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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