With the grass court season seemingly now in full swing, many of the leading players are putting their last minute preparations together in readiness for a meaningful assault on the Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon. Both Rafa Nadal and Nicolas Mahut gained encouraging title victories over the weekend at their respective events in Germany and Holland.

Confidence-booster for Nadal

After dropping down to number ten in the world rankings, in addition to relinquishing his cherished French Open title recently, a first title on grass since 2010 was a godsend for Nadal and his followers at the Mercedes Cup.

The Stuttgart event has only converted to a grass court tournament this season, having previously being played on clay. Nadal seemed to grow into the event as the week progressed, dismissing the Frenchman Gael Monfils in quick time in the semi-finals. That set up a final with the Serbian Viktor Troicki.

After a close first set, which the 29-year-old Spaniard eventually took on the tie-break, Nadal had a far smoother passage to his vital victory in the second set. Buoyed by some impressive serving statistics, including a mighty 11 aces, he took the match 7-6 6-3. His 66th career title is expected to enhance his ranking slightly, although he has plenty of ground still to make up on the leading players on the points' system.

The events are coming thick and fast for Nadal at present, as he is expected to also take part in this week's Queen's Club event in London. His first-round opponent will be Ukraine's Alexandr Dolgopolov. Wimbledon is also on the horizon, with the tournament due to begin on 29th June.

Surprise title for Mahut

Mahut was an unexpected winner of the title at the Topshelf Open in Rosmalen, Holland.

The unseeded Frenchman only entered the competition as a qualifier, but battled his way through to the final. Given that he was playing the second seed, David Goffin of Belgium, he went into the final as the underdog, but surprised many (including himself) by claiming a straight sets success 7-6 6-1.

It was only 33-year-old Mahut's third title in a lengthy fifteen-year career as a professional, but the event is a favourite of his.

He also took the title back in 2013. Grass is certainly his best surface, as his only other tour win was at Newport, Rhode Island two years ago, also on grass.

The match became a lesson in taking your opportunities when they present themselves. Goffin had three break points on his opponent's serve but failed to take any of them. By contrast, Mahut was clinical in breaking the Belgian's serve on three occasions.