Stuttgart QF previews and predictions: Berdych vs. Lopez, Zverev vs. Haas

Unsurprisingly, some extremely capable grass-court players find themselves in the Stuttgart quarterfinals. Not one, however, is Roger Federer. Friday’s lineup includes Tomas Berdych vs. Feliciano Lopez and Mischa Zverev vs. Tommy Haas.

(3) Tomas Berdych vs. Feliciano Lopez

Berdych and Lopez will be squaring off for the 13th time in their careers when they two veterans meet again in the quarterfinals of the Mercedes Cup on Friday afternoon. The head-to-head series is all tied up at six wins apiece, but the two veterans have faced each other at only one previous grass-court tournament. At Queen’s Club in 2014, Lopez got the job done 6-4, 7-6(7). They were on a binge of matchups that season, colliding four times from July through October–but they have not battled since.

Fast forward three years and both men are still forces to be reckoned with–especially on the green stuff–even though they may be past their absolute primes. Lopez registers at 33rd in the world and will want to make a late push to secure Wimbledon seeding. So far so good for the 33rd-ranked Spaniard, who has advanced with victories over Frenchmen Gilles Simon and Jeremy Chardy. Berdych’s relatively modest 24-11 record in 2017 surely contributed to his recent split from coach Goran Ivanisevic, but he showed signs of a turnaround by beating Bernard Tomic 7-6(4), 6-2 in his Stuttgart opener. That is a solid grass-court result for the 14th-ranked Czech, who is a former Wimbledon finalist (2010) and may be in a line for a reversal in fortunes now that he is back on grass.

Pick: Berdych in 3

(WC) Tommy Haas vs. (6) Mischa Zverev

Haas is scheduled to retire from tennis at the end of this grass-court swing, but recent results suggest that he may want to keep going even at 39 years old. The German is a solid 6-5 since losing his first three matches of the season and he is in the midst of his best tournament in 2017. Following a three-set defeat of Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Haas upset good friend Roger Federer 2-6, 7-6(8), 6-4 on Wednesday–saving one match point in the process.

Up next for the wild-card entrant on Friday is a second career contest against Zverev, who lost their only previous encounter 7-6(5), 6-2 on the grass courts of Halle back in 2009. The 31st-ranked German may have thought he was in line for another showdown with Federer, but Haas derailed those plans. Zverev’s most impressive run of his career came earlier this season at the Australian Open, where he stunned world No. 1 Andy Murray en route to the quarterfinals only to get clobbered by the eventual champion. Zverev was mostly hopeless thereafter as the court surfaces slowed down, but he restored confidence by finishing a surprise runner-up on the clay courts of Geneva just prior to the French Open. Now back on his favorite surface, the 29-year-old has disposed of Malek Jaziri and Yannick Hanfmann so far this week. Zverev is in top gear right now and Haas may have that proverbial hangover after taking down Federer.

Pick: Zverev in 3

5 Comments on Stuttgart QF previews and predictions: Berdych vs. Lopez, Zverev vs. Haas

  1. I can’t believe that prick dimitrov lost. I put my entire bankroll on him as my lock of the week. I have no idea what happened there.

    • Seriously? I saw that coming a mile away. Don’t u know Dimitrov is generally a prick when it comes to reliability in small tournaments?

    • A grass court match happened there. Dimitrov held his own serve very well indeed but failed to break Janowicz who took advantage of the rare chances he got.

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