Less than a week removed from his impressive run at the French Open in Paris, Gael Monfils is already on the newly minted grass courts in Stuttgart, where he will look to snatch the Mercedes Cup weeks ahead of the Wimbledon Championships. The Frenchman will begin his campaign with a second round bye against German qualifier Andreas Haider-Maurer, whom he has never faced previously on the professional tour.
Seeded fourth at this year’s event, Gael Monfils will start his grass court season in 2015 following a fourth round exit at Roland Garros. He was ousted by Roger Federer at that stage of the tournament after the contest was forcibly delayed to the following day due to darkness. He will look to transition successfully onto grass when he opens up against the qualifier.
Monfils’ opening opponent in the second round of the Mercedes Cup will be Andreas Haider-Maurer, who reached the second round of the tournament following a win against German wild card Maximilian Marterer. He fired 11 aces, won 89% of his first service points and saved al three of the break points he faced on serve to close out the match 7-6(5), 6-3 in one hour and 11 minutes.
This marks the first time that Monfils and Maurer will meet on the professional tour. It should also be a contest that favours the Frenchman, as he is the vastly more experienced competitor and a difficult one to down when he is playing his best tennis. However, unless Monfils adjusts to the conditions and surface immediately, he may be forced to contest a third set against the German.
Prediction: Gael Monfils in Straight Sets