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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday April 16, 2023

The stage is set for 2023’s first 500-level tournament on European clay, as the draw is set for next week’s Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, with defending champion Iga Swiatek at the top of the table.

Tennis Express

Nine of the WTA’s Top 10 are in the draw (only Jessica Pegula is missing). See the complete draw here:

Here’s is Swiatek’s potential and projected path to the title:

R1 – BYE
R2 – Zheng Qinwen or qualifier
QF – [8] Sakkari, Karolina Pliskova, Donna Vekic or Ekaterina Alexandrova
SF – [6] Rybakina, Ons Jabeur, Jelena Ostapenko, Emma Raducanu, Beatriz Haddad Maia
F – [2] Sabalenka, [4] Garcia, [5] Gauff, Kvitova, Krejcikova, Samsonova

Popcorn First-Rounders

All the first round matches are magnificent, but we’ll choose our top three:

[8] Maria Sakkari v Karolina Pliskova: 3-3 head-to-head

Barbora Krejcikova v Liudmila Samsonova: The Russian took their lone meeting in straight sets at Abu Dhabi.

Petra Kvitova v Anastasia Potapova: Kvitova won their lone meeting in 2021 at Ostrava. Both players played extremely well at the Sunshine Double.