With many players gearing themselves up for the grass court season, as Wimbledon looms ever closer, the #Tennis action and news has been coming thick and fast. Rafa Nadal has been making progress through the tournament in Stuttgart to reach the final, while there has been mixed news on the fitness front for the Brits, Andy Murray and Kyle Edmund.
Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart
After seeing his world ranking plummet dramatically over recent weeks to number 10, his lowest since 2005 in the early days of his tennis 'journey', Rafa Nadal seems to be determined to fight back. The early signs in Stuttgart at the Mercedes Cup (previously known as the 'Stuttgart Open') this week seem promising.
With the event having been switched to grass this year, after previously being a clay court tournament, it also offers the players an opportunity to hone their skills ahead of Wimbledon.
Nadal had to survive a close tussle with the young Aussie Bernard Tomic in the last-eight, taking almost two and a half hours before coming through 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 6-3. The match should probably have been over in straight sets, but the Spaniard squandered a break in the second set and also a mini-break in the tie break. In the end he was relieved to close the match out in the deciding third set, saving breaks points on his own serve in the seventh game.
There were less concerns for the top seed Nadal in the semi-final on Saturday, as he breezed through in straight sets 6-3 6-4 against Frenchman Gael Monfils in less than 80 minutes. He will play Victor Troicki in Sunday's final, after the Serbian somewhat surprisingly defeated the second seed Marin Cilic 6-3 6-7 7-6 in the other last-four match.
Brits' fitness concerns
Andy Murray's health concerns ahead of next week's Queen's Club event seem to have eased over the last few days. Murray had been struggling with a cough towards the end of his French Open campaign and also struggled with a problem with his left eye, causing his eyelid to close up. After taking three days recuperation back in Britain, he is believed to be back to fitness again and ready to begin his grass court season.
His first match at Queen's is expected to be played on Tuesday against a qualifier, as top seed Murray looks to win his fourth title at the London venue.There was not such good news for Britain's current number three player though. Kyle Edmund has had to pull out of the Queen's Club event with an abdominal injury, following his earlier withdrawal from the second round at the French Open.