Watch List: Wimbledon top seeds prepare for grass play in England
The Watch List highlights the must-know storylines for the upcoming week in tennis. With just one week to go until Wimbledon, defending champion Petra Kvitova gets her grass season underway in Eastbourne, while all eyes turn to the pre-tournament festivities back in London.
Aegon International (Eastbourne, England)
Wimbledon defending champion and No. 2 Petra Kvitova was the top seed in Eastbourne until she withdrew from the tournament on Monday, citing illness. Daria Gavrilova replaces her as the lucky loser.
Caroline Wozniacki, Lucie Safarova, and Ekaterina Makarova round out the top four seeds in a field that also includes defending champion Madison Keys, playing her only grass warm-up after having to skip Birmingham last week due to illness, Karolina Pliskova, Garbine Muguruza, and Sloane Stephens.
The top-notch matches come early in the second round when the top seeds get underway. Stephens plays Carla Suarez Navarro, Keys plays Belinda Bencic, Eugenie Bouchard plays Alison Riske, Andrea Petkovic plays Caroline Garcia, and Birmingham champion Angelique Kerber (assuming she doesn't withdraw) plays CoCo Vandeweghe.
Aegon Open (Nottingham, England)
David Ferrer and Gilles Simon are the top two seeds at the inaugural ATP 250 event in Nottingham. Also in the draw are Sam Querrey, Queen's semifinalist Viktor Troicki, and Dominic Thiem.
Wimbledon (Wimbledon, London)
Wimbledon will announce its Top 32 seeds on Wednesday. Wimbledon is the only major that implements its own seeding formula instead of defaulting to the ATP or WTA rankings. With an eye towards rewarding players who excel on the specialized surface, the All England Club's seeding formula for the men takes a player's ATP points as of the week before the tournament, adds 100 percent of that player's points earned in the previous 12 months in grass tournaments, and then adds 75 percent of the points earned in the player's best grass tournament in the 12 months before that. The one player who could benefit the most from the formula could be Grigor Dimitrov. He sits at No. 11 in the rankings but with his results last year, winning Queen's and making the Wimbledon semifinals, he's in range for a Top 8 seeding.
The All England Club does not use the same formula when it comes to the women. They reserve their full discretion for the women's seed, which has led to little actual deviation from the WTA rankings. This year there are a number of Wimbledon darlings who could use a little help: Last year's finalist Eugenie Bouchard is now outside the Top 10, Venus Williams is barely holding on to the 16th seed, and 2013 finalist Sabine Lisicki is beloved at the tournament and just broke the WTA single-match ace record. Chances are the AELTC won't touch the seeds, but there's plenty of opportunity for them if they want to meddle.
The men's and women's draws will be made on Friday.