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Roger Federer to play veteran Tommy Haas at Stuttgart Open

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STUTTGART, Germany — Tommy Haas lined up a second-round meeting with Roger Federer, while seeded players Gilles Simon and Viktor Troicki both made an early exit from the Stuttgart Open on Tuesday.

The 39-year-old Haas, playing for the last time at the grass-court tournament, defeated Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 in their first-round match. The victory set up another clash with the Swiss great, who has already won 15 titles on grass and is playing again after a 10-week break.

“I’m really looking forward to playing the next game against one of my closest friends,” Haas said. “We had many great battles in the past. He is the best player on grass in history. I’ll definitely need to play better to have a chance. But you never know what can happen.”

Feliciano Lopez of Spain upset the seventh-seeded Simon 6-3, 6-3, while Benoit Paire of France beat the eighth-seeded Viktor Troicki 6-4, 6-4.

German qualifiers Peter Gojowczyk and Yannick Hanfmann both advanced, as did fellow countryman Philipp Kohlschreiber, who was leading 6-1 when Marcos Baghdatis retired.

Another German, Florian Mayer, later lost 7-6 (3), 4-6, 7-6 (1) to Jeremy Chardy of France, who next plays Lopez.

Jerzy Janowicz of Poland defeated Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, and Bernard Tomic prevailed over Stephane Robert of France, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2.

The top four seeded players – Federer, Grigor Dimitrov, Tomas Berdych and Lucas Pouille – received byes to the second round.

This is the third year the event is being played on grass.

‘Big 4’ given top 4 seedings at Wimbledon; Kerber also No. 1

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LONDON — The “Big 4” of men’s tennis were given the four highest seedings for this year’s tournament at Wimbledon.

No. 1-ranked Andy Murray, the defending champion, is the top-seeded player, followed by Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Nadal and Djokovic are also in the top four of the ATP rankings, but Federer is No. 5. Third-ranked Stan Wawrinka, who has won the other three Grand Slam titles but not Wimbledon, is seeded fifth.

Milos Raonic, Marin Cilic, Dominic Thiem, Kei Nishikori and Alexander Zverev round out the top 10 in the seedings.

In the women’s seedings, Angelique Kerber is No. 1 in a list that mirrors the top-10 rankings. The only exception is the absence of No. 4-ranked Serena Williams, who is pregnant and skipping the tournament.

That means fifth-ranked Elina Svitolina is the fourth-seeded player at Wimbledon, behind Kerber, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova.

Caroline Wozniacki, Johanna Konta, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Dominika Cibulkova, Agnieszka Radwanska and Venus Williams complete the top 10 in the seedings.

Serena bares all in Vanity Fair cover shoot

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After accidentally revealing her pregnancy through Snapchat back in April, Serena Williams has not been shy about sharing her pregnancy with the public. In fact, Williams bares all in the cover of Vanity Fair’s August issue, wearing only the same waist chain she wore in that Snapchat.

The cover photo she tweeted Tuesday shows the tennis star’s full-body profile. Taken by renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz, the photographs of Williams’ baby bump are surrounded by earthly hues of grey and burnt orange. Her fiancé, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, stepped in for a couple photos, embracing his future wife.

As carefree as she looks in these pictures, Williams probably hasn’t been having the best week after tennis legend John McEnroe questioned her athleticism when compared to men. McEnroe said in an interview with NPR earlier this week that Williams – a 23-time Grand Slam singles winner –  would rank “like 700” on the men’s tour. When he came on the Dan Patrick Show on Tuesday morning, McEnroe stated his confusion over why his comment on Williams was a big deal: “Why is it always McEnroe that gets caught in the middle of this? It drives me crazy.”

Williams, an active Twitter user, responded to his comments:

Williams’ baby, which she has yet to find out the sex of, is due this fall.