With the pro tennis calendar moving as quickly as it does, the grass-court season is now upon us and Doubles Take is here for your look at the first week.
Both tours are taking to the turf with two events each, as one of the venues hosts the men and women simultaneously. In s-Hertogenbosch, there’s already been a huge upset on the women’s side as top seeds Nicole Melichar and Kveta Peschke dropped their opener to Lesia Tsurenko and Yafan Wang in a deciding tiebreak. The No. 2 seeds are Dutchwomen Demi Schuurs and Kiki Bertens, who reached the final of the tournament in 2017. Last year, Schuurs—who’s still seeking her first title of the year—won the event with Elise Mertens.
On the men’s side, 2017 Wimbledon champs Lukasz Kubot and Marcelo Melo are the top seeds and are through to the quarters. Last year’s runners-up at the All England Club, Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus, have advanced to the next round, too.
Making their team debut on the main tour, Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski also won their opening match. The number-three seeds have had some success this year, winning the Challenger title in Arizona.
Murray played his last event with longtime partner Bruno Soares at the just-completed French Open as the two captured a couple of majors during their time together and established themselves as one of the best teams on the ATP Tour. Before partnering Soares, Murray was playing with John Peers, and that combo reached a couple of major finals in 2015. Peers rebounded from the split to find success with Henri Kontinen.
It’s funny how things come around: This week, Peers and Soares are the top seeds in Stuttgart, and they’ve knocked out hometown hopefuls Tim Puetz and Jan-Lennard Struff in their first match. The No. 2 seeds, Nikola Mektic and Franko Skugor, have joined the Germans on the sidelines, falling to Matt Reid and Nick Kyrgios.
At the other WTA event this week, the Nottingham Open, a familiar threat during the grass-court season—rain—has made its mark on the tournament already. Alicja Rosolska, who won the event last year with Abigail Spears, is back, playing with Zhaoxuan Yang this time. The top seeds are Gabriela Dabrowski and Yifan Xu, who, after a strong clay-court campaign, will be going for their first grass-court title together.
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