Tennis has a very long tradition in Stuttgart, with the first edition being held in 1898 and it has been a part of the Open era since 1978. Mercedes -Benz became the sponsor in the following year and it was a very solid clay court event with Vitas Gerulaitis, Bjorn Borg, Ivan Lendl, Andre Agassi, Goran Ivanisevic, Michael Stich, Thomas Muster, Alex Corretja, Gustavo Kuerten, Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Juan Martin del Potro and Juan Carlos Ferrero all winning title here.
In 2015, the event switched from July to June and from clay to grass, joining an exclusive and short grass swing and having Rafael Nadal as the first champion on the green surface. Dominic Thiem and Lucas Pouille have followed the Spaniard's steps in the last two seasons but the main contender for the title in 2018 is Roger Federer, who chases his 18th ATP crown on grass.
A year ago, Roger had lost in the second round to his old friend Tommy Haas and he certainly wants to stay in Stuttgart for much longer next week, hoping to win his first title since Rotterdam in February. In his first match since tough second round loss in Miami against Thanasi Kokkinakis, Roger will open his campaign versus Mischa Zverev or a qualifier and it should be an interesting clash if Mischa wins that opening match.
In the quarters, Federer could face Denis Shapovalov, John Millman or Guido Pella and it should be a real cracker between the great Swiss and the young Canadian, with both junior Wimbledon champions. Struggling with an elbow injury, Nick Kyrgios hasn't played in singles since Houston and he is eager to make a strong return here, playing against Maximilian Marterer or Peter Gojowczyk in what could be a tricky second round test for him.
Gilles Simon and Feliciano Lopez are in the second quarter as well and it should be a great battle for the place in the last four. Milos Raonic is yet to reach a final in 2018, dealing with injuries and scoring only two good results at Indian Wells and Miami.
The Canadian is the 7th seed, leading the third quarter together with Tomas Berdych and they will have to beat Mirza Basic, Marton Fucsovics, Taylor Fritz and Benoit Paire in order to set an interesting quarter-final duel of former Wimbledon finalists.
The bottom quarter is packed with Germans, including the 5th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber, and the 17-year-old Rudolf Molleker is making his second main draw appearance on the ATP level after Hamburg 2017. The youngster will face Jan-Lennard Struff and the winner of that one goes to play against the 2nd seed and the defending champion Lucas Pouille. Full draw: