Watch List: Andy Murray returns as Wimbledon prep begins in earnest
The Watch List spotlights the must-know storylines for the upcoming week in tennis. This week the tour moves from clay to grass, with last year's Wimbledon finalists, Roger Federer and Andy Murray, in action. Wimbledon begins in two weeks.
The Queen's Club will welcome back Murray, who missed the French Open because of a back injury. Murray has been resting his body and was already hitting on grass when things got underway in Paris.
Murray, a two-time champion at Queen's, lost his opening match to Nicolas Mahut last year; the two could have a rematch in the second round this year if Mahut beats Rhyne Williams in the first round. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Kevin Anderson are also in Murray's half.
Tomas Berdych and Juan Martin del Potro lead the bottom half of the draw. Del Potro also was sidelined for the French Open, with a viral infection.
Queen's is also the tournament of choice for the Americans. Sam Querrey, the 2010 champion, is the sixth seed, while Ryan Harrison, Michael Russell, Denis Kudla and Williams are in the field.
Gerry Weber Open
Federer comes into the grass-court season with much on the line. His quarterfinal loss to Tsonga at the French Open capped a generally disappointing first part of the season for the Swiss great, who runs the risk of dropping out of the top five if he fails to defend his title at Wimbledon. His sole lead-up event to the third major of the year will once again be in Halle, Germany, where he tops a strong field that includes Richard Gasquet, Tommy Haas, Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic, Ernests Gulbis and Gael Monfils.
Haas, up to No. 11 in this week's rankings thanks to his quarterfinal run at Roland Garros, has a nightmare draw as the third seed in the 32-player field. He could open against Gulbis or Marcos Baghdatis in the second round, then play Raonic and then, in the semifinals, get his doubles partner this week, Federer, whom he upset in the final last year. Haas' wife, Sara Foster, is not amused by his luck.
Raonic, the fifth seed, opens against Monfils. The 22-year-old Canadian, who split with longtime coach Galo Blanco before the French Open, officially announced the appointment of former No. 3 Ivan Ljubicic as his new coach. That's a pairing to keep an eye on.
The top women have typically gone into Wimbledon without playing a lead-up tournament, so don't expect to see Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova anytime in the next two weeks. No. 20 Kirsten Flipkens and No. 22 Ekaterina Makarova lead a light field for the WTA tournament in Birmingham, England.
Despite the lack of top players, the tournament is notable for the number of young Americans in the draw. Defending champion Melanie Oudin, Lauren Davis and Coco Vandeweghe already lost in the first round on Monday, but Madison Keys, Jamie Hampton and Allison Riske won their openers. Hampton and Keys will meet in the second round.
Do you love clay and hate that the clay season is over? Well, then this 32-player women's tournament in Nurnberg, Germany, is for you. The WTA's new stop is the final respite for those clay-courters who are dreading the low-bouncing balls on grass. French Open quarterfinalist Jelena Jankovic leads the field. Also in the draw are Italian Open semifinalist Simona Halep and Andrea Petkovic, who won last week's ITF tournament in Marseille, France, after losing in the French Open qualifying tournament. The injury-plagued German, a former top-10 player now ranked No. 103, received a wild card.