Topshelf Open 2013: Players Who Will Carry Positive Momentum into Wimbledon

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 21, 2013

KEY BISCAYNE, FL - MARCH 22:  Jeremy Chardy of Francereturns a shot to Xavier Malisse of Belguim during day 5 of the Sony Open at the  Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 22, 2013 in Key Biscayne, Florida.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Jeremy Chardy probably won't be a part of Wimbledon very long but he at least did himself some favors at the 2013 Topshelf Open.

The 27th-ranked player in the world made it to the quarterfinals before being knocked out by No. 2 Stanislas Wawrinka. Although Chardy lost in straight sets, he made it very close, losing the first set 6-4 and the second 7-6 (7-2 in the tiebreaker).

The Topshelf Open is the good news. Wimbledon is the bad news. You can view the entire draw on the tournament's official website.

If Chardy makes it to the third round, he'll likely face top seed Novak Djokovic. Unless your name is Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer, you're probably not beating the Djoker.

Still, Chardy really helped himself with this nice run in 's-Hertogenbosch, Holland.

Here are three other players who will build on strong showings at the Topshelf Open.


Simona Halep

Simona Halep showed some promise as a youngster, winning the junior title at the 2008 French Open. Now at 21, she has failed to make it past the third round of a Grand Slam.

That could change this year.

Halep has knocked off the Nos. 1 and 3 seeds en route to the final in Holland. She has looked very strong in her four wins.

She shouldn't have any trouble against first-round opponent Olga Govortsova. Li Na could be more troublesome in the second round.

Halep has played Li before, knocking her out of the 2011 US Open in the first round. If she can get past Li, Halep could do some damage at Wimbledon.


Stanislas Wawrinka

The aforementioned Wawrinka will be 11th seed at Wimbledon. Coming off a run to the quarterfinal at the French Open, Wawrinka is in the final of the Topshelf Open. He hasn't even dropped a set in the tournament. While Nicolas Mahut should be tough competition, the 28-year-old Wawrinka should be able to bring home the title.

That would be good because he needs all the positive momentum he'll need going into Wimbledon. He's got Lleyton Hewitt in the first round, possibly John Isner in the third round and Rafael Nadal in the fourth round.

Wawrinka doesn't have a great record at Wimbledon, so it's encouraging for him that he could pick up a grass title in the buildup.


Xavier Malisse

Xavier Malisse has only made it past the fourth round of a grand slam once: at Wimbledon in 2002. He has done well there before and is a very good player on grass.

The 32-year-old did lose in the semifinal in Holland but he still made a nice run to get there. Malisse knocked off top seed David Ferrer in the first round.

Malisse's first-round opponent at Wimbledon will be Fernando Verdasco. The Belgian is only 1-3 against Verdasco, but that one win came at last year's Wimbledon.

Nobody will be expecting Malisse to make the semifinals this year, but there's a very good chance he will not suffer an early exit. He built some confidence in the Netherlands and he should take that with him to England.