With Wimbledon just a week away, there are plenty of tune-up tournaments commencing this week. One certainly worth keeping an eye on is the Topshelf Open.
While the Topshelf doesn't boast a full slate of elite talent, former winners David Ferrer and Roberta Vinci will highlight the men's and women's field in a tournament with several intriguing players all capable of winning this title.
Let's break down the 2013 Topshelf Open.
When: Monday, June 17 to Saturday, June 22
Where: Autotron Rosmalen, 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands
|Monday, June 17||First Round||N/A||TennisTV (where available)|
|Tuesday, June 18||First Round||N/A||TennisTV (where available)|
|Wednesday, June 19||Second Round||N/A||TennisTV (where available)|
|Thursday, June 20||Quarterfinals||N/A||TennisTV (where available)|
|Friday, June 21||Semifinals||Tennis Channel (on delay from 3 p.m. ET to 7 p.m. ET)||TennisTV (where available)|
|Saturday, June 22||Final||Tennis Channel (on delay at 3 p.m. ET and 7 p.m. ET)||TennisTV (where available)|
Players to Watch
On the men's side, French Open runner-up and world No. 4 Ferrer will look to defend his 2012 title at this tournament. While the field at the Topshelf isn't weak, Ferrer will be expected to make it two in a row in the Netherlands at this Wimbledon tune-up.
His main competition will come from the No. 2 seed and world No. 10 Stanislas Wawrinka, who also lost to Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros, albeit in the quarterfinals. Wawrinka has been solid this year and won the Portugal Open, so he's a serious threat for Ferrer.
As will be world No. 21 John Isner, though the American is having a tough year, with just a 15-13 record on the season. He did win the U.S. Claycourt Championships, however, so he is fully capable of going on a deep run and even winning the Topshelf.
World No. 25 Benoit Paire is also worth keeping an eye on, though he hasn't won a tournament this year and is a rather mediocre 20-16 on the season.
On the women's side, Vinci will be looking to win her second Topshelf title, as she also won the tournament in 2011. The top seed and world No. 11 was knocked out of the French Open by Serena Williams in the fourth round, but already has a Katowice Open title under her belt this year and has put together a solid season.
Her main competition will likely come from world No. 18 Dominika Cibulkova, though the Slovakian has struggled this year, going 13-14 for the season. Since reaching the final of the WTA Apia International Sydney in January, she's advanced past the third round of a tournament just once.
World No. 19 Carla Suarez-Navarro would be having an excellent year if only she could avoid Sara Errani. The Italian knocked her out of the French Open (fourth round), the Abierto Mexicano TELCEL (final) and the WTA OPEN GDF SUEZ (quarterfinals). In all, Suarez-Navarro has reached four quarterfinals and two finals this season.
She's a player to keep an eye on.
Other women of note include world No. 20 Kirsten Flipkens and world No. 31 Mona Barthel.
Ferrer is clearly the best on the men's side and is playing some excellent tennis this season, even if he can't quite reach the level of the big four. I expect he'll duplicate as the winner.
On the women's side, I like Suarez-Navarro to pull off the slight upset and finally get a tournament win this season. Vinci is clearly the favorite and a former winner, but Suarez-Navarro is due.