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Everything you need to know about the 2015 clay court season

Rafael Nadal with his ninth Roland Garros title
by Alex Sharp
Monday 13 April 2015

Wimbledon.com's guide to the 2015 clay court season... 

The opening quarter of the tennis season painted a familiar picture with the irrepressible Novak Djokovic adding another Australian Open to his collection along with an Indian Wells-Miami double. 

In the women’s game, Serena Williams has continued to display her prowess, winning in Melbourne and strolling to the Miami crown, with Simona Halep leading a fearful chasing pack. 

For two months now tennis endures an unbroken swing on the dusty clay, making its way to the climax at the French Open in Paris. 

There are many circulating questions. Will Rafael Nadal regain his powers, having yet to beat anyone in the top 10 this year, and believe in himself once again to secure an unprecedented tenth Roland Garros? 

Also world No.1 Novak Djokovic has made no secret of his desire to complete a career Grand Slam in Paris whereas the newly married Andy Murray is yet to win a title on clay despite reaching 47 ATP finals. Who can prevail in a period packed with three Masters titles within a month? 

Clay titles have already been scooped up by Martin Klizan, who defeated Daniel Gimeno-Traver in the Casablanca final, and Jack Sock won his maiden ATP tour title by beating fellow American Sam Querrey in Houston. 

Angelique Kerber set the ball running on the women’s tour, winning the first notable clay title at the Family Circle Cup in Charleston.  

Who else can emerge to challenge Serena? Will Maria Sharapova be able to retain Roland Garros 

The clay season is a long, gruelling ordeal that always throws up numerous surprises. Here’s our breakdown of the upcoming calendar... 

Monte Carlo Masters (ATP) 

When: 12/04/2015 

Lowdown: It’s a strong field for the glorious surroundings of Monte Carlo as only Andy Murray (enjoying his wedding celebrations) and Kei Nishikori are absent from the top 10. 

Who: Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka, David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych, Jo Wilfried-Tsonga 

Defending champion: Stan Wawrinka 
Did you know? Roger Federer is a four-time finalist in Monte Carlo but it’s one of the few titles left to allude the much decorated Swiss maestro, having lost at the final hurdle in 2006-8 and 2014. 


Claro Open Colsanitas – Bogota (WTA) 

When: 13/04/2015 

Lowdown: British fans were hoping this tournament would mark the long awaited return of Laura Robson however her comeback from a wrist injury has been setback again.  

Who: Elina Svitolina, Varvara Lepchenko, Monica PuigAjla Tomljanovic, Francesca Schiavone 

Defending champion: Caroline Garcia 


Barcelona Open 500 (ATP) 

When: 20/4/2015 

Lowdown: Japan’s Kei Nishikori ended a run of 11 straight years with Spanish champions in Barcelona to cruise past Santiago Giraldo 6-2, 6-2 last year to prove his versatile game can also be highly effective on the clay. 

Who: Kei Nishikori, Rafael NadalMilos Raonic, David Ferrer, Marin Cilic, Feliciano Lopez, Jo Wilfried-Tsonga, Ernests Gulbis. 

Defending champion: Kei Nishikori 

Did you know? It’s held at the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona-1899, which is the oldest Spanish tennis club. 


Porsche Tennis Grand Prix – Stuttgart (WTA) 

When: 20/4/2015 

Lowdown: Roland Garros champion will be aiming to win a fourth consecutive title in Stuttgart against a very strong field in Germany. Only Serena Williams is poised to miss out from the top 10. 
Who: Maria SharapovaSimona Halep, Petra Kvitova, Caroline Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic, Eugenie Bouchard, Agnieszka Radwanska. 

Defending champion: Maria Sharapova 
Did you know? Stuttgart is the only indoor clay tournament on the WTA calendar however they use the same grading of clay that is at Roland Garros. 


Bucharest Open 250 (ATP) 

When: 20/4/2015 

Lowdown: With reigning champion Grigor Dimitrov opting to not return to Romania, three-time champion Gilles Simon leads the field along with 2013 winner Lukas Rosol. 

Who: Gilles Simon, Ivo Karlovic, Garcia-Lopez, Lukas Rosol, Andreas Seppi 

Defending champion: Grigor Dimitrov 


BMW Munich Open 250 (ATP) 

When: 27/4/2015 

Lowdown: Having just married his long-term girlfriend Kim Sears, Andy Murray steps onto the clay for the first time in Germany as he pursues a maiden title on the dirt. 

Who: Andy Murray, David Goffin, Fabio FogniniIvo Karlovic, Dominic Thiem 

Defending champion: Martin Klizan 


Estoril Open Portugal 250 (ATP) 

When: 27/4/2015 

Lowdown: A new addition to the ATP tour!  

Who: Feliciano Lopez, Kevin Anderson, Richard Gasquet, Nick KyrgiosBorna Coric 

Istanbul Open 250 (ATP) 

When: 27/4/2015 

Lowdown: Another new addition to the calendar this seasonIt’s the first ATP event ever to be played in Turkey. 

Who: Roger FedererGrigor Dimitrov, Santiago Giraldo, Juan Monaco 

Marrakech Open (WTA) 

When: 27/4/2015 

Who: Timea BacsinszkyFlavia PennettaElina Svitolina, Mona Barthel, Roberta Vinci 

Defending champion: Maria-Teresa Torro-Flor 

Did you know: The WTA’s only stop in Africa is located near the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. 

J&T Banka Prague Open (WTA) 

When: 27/4/2015 

Who: 15 of the top 50 including Heather Watson, Lucie Safarova and Carla Suarez Navarro 

Defending champion: Heather Watson 


Mutua Madrid Open (ATP and WTA) 

When: 3/5/2015 

Who: Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are the notable planned absentees on the men’s side with a similarly strong field expected in the Spanish capital for the women’s draw 

Defending champions: Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova  

Did you know? Nadal became only the second male to win four Madrid titles, adding to his victories in 2005, 2010 and 2013 by defeating Kei Nishikori 2-6, 6-4, 3-0 (retired) last year. 


Rome Masters (ATP and WTA) 

When: 10/4/2015 

Who: The men’s ‘big four’ clash together for the first time in a strong field. On the women’s side all the top ten are expected to battle out in Rome. 

Defending champions: Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams 

Did you know? Either Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic have won the men’s title since Carlos Moya prevailed in 2004 


Geneva Open 250 (ATP) 

When: 16/4/2015 

Lowdown: The ATP tour returns to Geneva for the first time since 1991. 

Who: Stan Wawrinka, Santiago GiraldoRadek Stepanek, Marcos Baghdatis Vasek Pospisil 


Nice Open 250 (ATP) 

When: 17/4/2015 

Who: John Isner, Gilles Simon, Ernests Gulbis, Robin Haase 

Defending champion: Ernests Gulbis 


Internationaux de Strasbourg (WTA) 

When: 17/4/2015 

Who: France No.1 Alize Cornet has been confirmed, the rest TBC. 

Defending champion: Monica Puig 


Roland Garros (ATP and WTA) 

When: 24/5/2015 

Defending champions: Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova 

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