Roger Federer is set to kick off his grass season in Stuttgart over the next two years. The world number three has signed a contract with the MercedesCup to play there over the next two seasons as the Swiss looks to add to his trophy case for next year.
Stuttgart made the switch from clay to grass this year. This will be Federer’s first appearance in Stuttgart since 2001. The Swiss number one traditionally kicks off his grass season in Halle and is scheduled to make a 17th consecutive entry at the Gerry Weber Open.
Federer’s Last Run In Stuttgart
In 2001, Stuttgart was a Masters event and was played in a best-of-three set format until the final where the finalists played in a best-of-five. Back in 2001, the event was called the Eurocard Open. The former world number one was seeded 11th. He received a first round bye but crashed out to defending champion Wayne Ferreira in the second round. Ferreira went on to make it to the quarterfinals before losing to Lleyton Hewitt. Tommy Haas won the title and defeated qualifier Max Mirnyi for the title.
The Switch From Clay To Grass
This year was the first year that Stuttgart was played on grass. Roberto Bautista Agut was the defending champion whilst on clay but due to the TopShelf Open and this event being played simultaneously, he could only play one. He chose to defend his title in the Netherlands instead, leaving the door open for a new champion for the grass debut.
The tournament boasted a strong field headlined by Rafael Nadal. Marin Cilic, Gael Monfils, Dominic Thiem, and Bernard Tomic were also seeded in the event. The Spaniard wound up making it to the final against Viktor Troicki who upset second-seeded Cilic in the semifinals. The world number five won the title and as per tradition, took home a new Mercedes along with prize money. The victory was Nadal’s second title of 2015, winning in Buenos Aires.