In a pre-pandemic world, this would be the time that the pros would be making the transition from sliding around on the clay to slicing and dicing their way around the grass in preparation for Wimbledon.
And for some of them, this period would have really been their time to shine.
While they might not be the ones lifting the game’s grandest prize at the end, these five players always pose a threat in the draw of any grass-court event. (All photos: Getty Images)
Even though he hasn’t won any singles titles, Brown has earned his place in the men’s game as one of the most dangerous players on the surface. His superb shotmaking and readiness to dive for any ball has helped him pull off many an upset, including two notable wins against Rafael Nadal on the grass.
Over the past several years, the Spaniard has made his mark during the lead-up to Wimbledon, winning four of his seven career singles titles at the warm-up tournaments. Last season, as a wild card, he captured his second Queen’s Club title and claimed the doubles top prize there with Andy Murray.
In 2019, the American won the ITF event in Surbiton for the second year in a row, setting her up for one of the best stretches of her career. She followed that up with the title in ’s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, for her first WTA triumph in five years, then advanced to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.
The WTA veteran had the best grass-court campaign of her career last year. With the surface highlighting her versatility, Strycova reached her first major semifinal at Wimbledon as an unseeded player. She wasn’t done after that: The Czech and Su-Wei Hsieh then claimed the women’s doubles title.
The American has made two notable runs recently to the semifinals and quarterfinals at Wimbledon with wins over Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic along the way. That’s not the only grass-court event where he’s had some success: the big-hitting American is a former Queen’s Club champ, winning the title there in 2010.
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