2013 Topshelf Open
The 2013 Topshelf Open was played in Rosmalen, Netherlands from 16-22 June and took place on outdoor grass courts. It is currently part of the ATP’s 250 Series and the WTA International Tournaments. While only 2 of the world’s top 20 men were here, #1 seed and world ranked #4 David Ferrer added a bit of star power. In the women’s section, world #11 Roberta Vinci was the top seed, as most of the tour’s elite were focusing on the Wimbledon Championships.
Ferrer didn’t get much of an opportunity to stamp his quality on the event, as he was knocked out in round 1 by Xavier Malisse, a former top 20 player. The straight sets defeat was something of a shock and Malisse made it all the way to the semi-finals. Steve Darcis gave little indication that he was going to knock out Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon, as he also crashed out in round 1. In fact, 6 of the top 8 seeds fell at the first hurdle!
This meant that unheralded players had a shot at glory and Nicolas Mahut, ranked outside the top 100 in the world, grasped his opportunity with both hands. He was in fine form and cruised through to the final without dropping a set. A tough challenge was anticipated against #2 seed Stanislas Wawrinka, but Mahut defeated him with relative ease 6-3, 6-4.
Roberta Vinci was expected to take advantage of the fact that defending champion Nadia Petrova was competing in Eastbourne, but the Italian top seed was eliminated in round 2 by Simona Halep. Although Halep is ranked outside the top 200 in the world, she has been playing incredibly as of late, having captured her first ever WTA title just a week earlier in Germany.
Kirsten Flipkens was #4 seed and looked most likely to take the title after she survived a first round scare to win her next three matches without dropping a set. It turned out that Halep was waiting for her in the final, after the Romanian also defeated #3 seed Carla Suarez Navarro in the semis. If Flipkens thought she would have it easy, she was very much mistaken, as the up and coming Halep enjoyed a 6-4, 6-2 win, becoming the first Romanian to ever win back-to-back tournaments on different surfaces.
Men’s & Women’s Doubles
None of the world’s top 20 was involved in the men’s doubles and #1 seeds Jean-Julien Rojer even got a bye in the second round, but no team could stop #2 seeds Max Mirnyi and Horia Tecau, as they defeated Martin Emmrich and Andre Begemann 6-3, 7-6 in the final. In the women’s event, none of the top 50 were in action and #1 seeds Andrea Hlavackova and Daniela Hantuchova withdrew in the quarter-finals. This opened the door for #2 seeds Anabel Medina Garrigues and Irina-Camelia Begu who defeated Arantxa Parra Santonja and Dominika Cibulkova in thrilling fashion by a score of 4-6, 7-6, 11-9.
While the world’s top players did not step out in Rosmalen, it was a great opportunity for new stars to shine and experienced players to get back into the spotlight; it was a well-run and thoroughly enjoyable event.