At the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart this week, only two rounds have been completed, and all eight seeds are gone. It isn’t even a particularly weak top of the field–five of the eight seeds are ranked in the top 20, and all eight are 37th or better.
Six of the eight lost their first-rounders, including #1 Gael Monfils (to Hanescu) and #2 Jurgen Melzer (to Giraldo). The remaining two seeds–#3 Mikhail Youzhny and #8 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez–lost today. Youzhny may be the only man in the draw without something to be ashamed of–he won a match, then lost to Juan Carlos Ferrero on clay.
The remaining draw almost makes Newport look good. Of the eight unseeded players, we have two wild cards (Cedrik-Marcel Stebe and Lukasz Kubot) and two qualifiers (Pavol Cervenak and Federico Del Bonis). The two qualifiers will play each other tomorrow, so at least one man from the qualifying draw will reach the final four.
It’s a project for another day, but it would be interesting to see which tournaments are most upset-prone. The post-Wimbledon clay circuit seems like a prime contender, if only because of its awkwardness on the schedule. And as friend-of-HT Tom Welsh pointed out, there seems to be a post-Davis Cup swoon, evident at Stuttgart with the losses to Mayer and Monfils.