ATP Eastbourne: Aegon International preview

With a week until Wimbledon, this will be the last chance for players to tune their game. World Number four Novak Djokovic headlines a packed field.

ATP Eastbourne: Aegon International preview
Top two seeds Novak Djokovic and Gael Monfils look ahead to the final grass-court tournament before Wimbledon (Photo: Getty Images)

With Wimbledon just a week away, players have one last attempt to gain form and fitness ahead of the third Grand Slam. World number four and first seed Novak Djokovic took a last minute wildcard to be here in order to get grass matches under his belt.

Having lost early in Halle, Gael Monfils takes a wildcard to become the second seed. Americans occupy the third and fourth seeds in John Isner and Steve Johnson

First Quarter

Headlining this opening quarter is Novak Djokovic. The Serbian has had a disappointing season having dropped out of the world's top two. The 30-year-old has won just one title which came at the start of the year in Qatar but has failed to retain his titles in Australia, Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid and Roland Garros.

He has a bye in Eastbourne and faces the winner of Jiri Vesely or Vasek Pospisil. The Serb lost his last meeting with Vesely though it was on clay at the Monte-Carlo Masters in 2016. Expect Djokovic to go all the way. 

Also in this section is the American Donald Young, who relishes playing on this surface. The American made the quarterfinals last week at the Queen's Club only losing out to the big hitting Marin Cilic, so he comes in with a bit of form.

He opens up against Kyle Edmund who lost in the first round last week. Another American Jared Donaldson is in this top quarter and faces Diego Schwartzman who is having a great season with a career-high of 34 in late April. It could be an all-American second round. 

Quarterfinals: Novak Djokovic-Kyle Edmund

Semifinal: Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic stretching for a shot (Photo: Icon Sportswire)
Novak Djokovic stretching for a shot (Photo: Icon Sportswire)

Second Quarter

Fourth-seeded Steve Johnson headlines the second quarter. The American enjoys this surface and has great memories having won his first title last year in Nottingham and also making the fourth round at Wimbledon.

He has been given a kind enough draw with Thomas Fabbiano and Franko Skugor, two qualifiers facing off against one another. The two have shown they can perform on this surface, taking out some notable grass court players. 

Nicolas Mahut, who has won all three titles on this surface in s-Hertogenbosch faces Robin Haase who can play on this surface but doesn't consider it his favorite.

The winner of that match will face either Daniil Medvedev or Sam Querrey. Both players had success in Queens, making the quarterfinals and possess danger on the grass courts. Though Querrey comes in as the heavy favorite. 

Quarterfinals: Steve Johnson-Sam Querrey

Semifinals: Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson strikes a forehand shot (Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Steve Johnson strikes a forehand shot (Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Third Quarter

The third quarter is the most packed of them all. Third-seeded John Isner is the headliner in the quarter and has a bye to the second round. He faces either big hitting Jeremy Chardy or Dusan Lajovic, both who have disappointed this season.

The Frenchman doesn't consider grass as his preferred or favorite surface but has the game to cause anyone problems with his big forehand strides. 

At the top of this section is Richard Gasquet and Francis Tiafoe, both excellent grass court players. Francis Tiafoe has cemented his place in the top 100 and could trouble the experienced Frenchman.

The winner faces either Thomaz Bellucci or Kevin Anderson. The South African should get past the clay-courter and should he win and face Gasquet, expect the winner to go far. 

Quarterfinals: Richard Gasquet-John Isner

Semifinal: Richard Gasquet

Richard Gasquet goes for a volley (Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Richard Gasquet goes for a volley (Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Fourth Quarter

Second seed and wildcard Gael Monfils headlines this final quarter. The 30-year-old has once again struggled with injuries and comes in hoping to gain some fitness and grass practice ahead of Wimbledon.

He faces either Horacio Zeballos or wildcard Cameron Norrie. The young Brit made his ATP main draw last week, losing to Sam Querrey. While Zeballos tends to favor the clay season and struggles heavily on this surface with his game less favored. 

In the top half of this last section, sixth seed Mischa Zverev, who lost to Federer in Halle faces Ryan Harrison. Having struggled with injuries in the past, Zverev is playing the best tennis of his life and has beaten Murray the world number one at the Australian Open.

The winner faces Norbert Gombos or Bernard Tomic. The Aussie is having a more than disappointing season with only six wins and 12 losses to his name and is unpredictable on his day. Expect the winner of Zverev-Harrison to progress to the quarterfinals. 

Quarterfinals: Mischa Zverev-Gael Monfils

Semifinal: Mischa Zverev

Mscha Zverev during Wimbledon (Photo: Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Mischa Zverev during Wimbledon (Photo: Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Semifinals: Novak Djokovic def. Steve Johnson, Richard Gasquet def. Mischa Zverev

Final: Novak Djokovic def. Richard Gasquet  

Tennis