Jabeur, Sakkari lead Berlin draw;  Gauff, Andreescu ready for grass

Jabeur, Sakkari lead Berlin draw; Gauff, Andreescu ready for grass

World No.4 Ons Jabeur leads the pack at the bett1open, where four of the Hologic WTA Tour’s Top 10 are in action this week in Berlin.

Draws, prize money, storylines and everything you need to know about Berlin

Berlin once again boasts a strong field during the first WTA 500 of the grass season. Seven of the Top 15 are in the field, including French Open finalist Coco Gauff, French Open semifinalist Daria Kasatkina, reigning Olympic champion Belinda Bencic, and 2017 Wimbledon champion Garbiñe Muguruza. Bianca Andreescu is also in the draw.

Top Half

Jabeur is the top seed in the draw and leads the top half, which also includes No.4 seed Karolina Pliskova, No.5 seed Muguruza, and No.7 seed Gauff. Also lurking in the top half are Bianca Andreescu and Kaia Kanepi.

Jabeur will face the Czech Republic’s Karolina Muchova in the first round. The winner will face either Zheng Qinwen or American qualifier Alycia Parks in the second round. Zheng is the 19-year-old rising star who was the only player to take a set off Roland Garros champion Iga Swiatek in Paris.

Muguruza will open against her good friend Andrea Petkovic, with the winner to face either Aliaksandra Sasnovich or Anastasia Gasanova. If the seedings hold, Jabeur and Muguruza are projected to meet each other in the quarterfinals.

On the heels of a run to her first major final, 18-year-old Gauff comes into Berlin at a career-high ranking of No.13. She will face compatriot Ann Li in the first round, and the winner will play a qualifier in the second round.

Gauff is projected to face No.4 seed Pliskova in the quarterfinals, but the 2021 Wimbledon finalist has a challenging path to make that meeting. Pliskova will face Kanepi in the first round, with the winner playing either Andreescu or Katerina Siniakova.

bottom half

No.5 Sakkari leads the bottom half of the draw, which includes last year’s Berlin finalists, Liudmila Samsonova and No.8 seed Bencic. No.3 seed Sabalenka, who began her grass season with a run to the final in s’Hertogenbosch, and World No.12 and No.6 seed Kasatkina are also in this half.

Samsonova powers past Bencic to win first title: Berlin Highlights

2021 Berlin

Sakkari has one grass event under her belt this season, having played the WTA 250 in Nottingham last week (l. Haddad Maia). The Greek star opens against a qualifier, with the winner to face either Jil Teichmann or Daria Saville, who defeated Sabine Lisicki in the final round of qualifying. By seeding, Sakkari is projected to face Kasatkina in the quarterfinals. Kasatkina will play Anhelina Kalinina in the first round.

No.3 seed Sabalenka will make a quick turnaround from Holland to Germany to face Veronika Kudermetova in the first round. The winner could face defending champion Samsonova in the second round.

No.8 seed Bencic, who lost in the quarterfinals of s’Hertogenbosch last week, will open against German wildcard Jule Niemeier. The winner will face either Alizé Cornet or Anna Kalinskaya in the second round. Bencic and Sabalenka could face each other in the quarterfinals.

The draw has also been released for the Rothesay Classic Birmingham, a WTA 250 event in England. Jelena Ostapenko and Simona Halep top the draw. Former champion Petra Kvitova has taken a wildcard.

Main draw play in Berlin and Birmingham begins on Monday, June 13.

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