Hey guys, the grass season is finally upon us and earlier today the draw for the Gerry Weber Open came out. Roger has played this tournament 13 times now but it's the first time he'll be featuring in it as an ATP 500 event.
The upgrade means no first round bye for the Swiss and he'll likely be taking to the court on Monday or Tuesday for his opening match. My guess is Monday as it says “match of the day” after the opening ceremony in the schedule so it could be a similar affair to Basel.
Federer's Projected Opponents
- 1st Round: Philipp Kohlschreiber
- 2nd Round: Ernests Gulbis / Sergiy Stakhovsky
- Quarter Final: Bernard Tomic
- Semi Final: Tomas Berdych
- Final: Kei Nishikori / Gael Monfils
Thoughts on the Draw
Halle has always managed to field a strong lineup of players and there are no major changes in the entries list now there are 500 ranking points at stake; Federer, Berdych, Monfils and Kohlschreiber have all made plenty of appearances over the years so the draw was always going to be tricky and Roger's half is certainly the tougher of the two.
First up is Kohlschreiber who is not an easy opponent by any means and he made the final here in 2008 (l. to Federer). His H2H record is terrible against Fed but he's played a couple of grass court matches already in Stuttgart which does give him a little bit of an advantage. I watched his match vs. Monfils though and he wasn't in great form so if Roger plays at a decent level he should get the job done.
The second round is a much easier proposition though with only Gublis or Stakhovsky standing in the way. Gulbis has been in shocking form this year and Stakhovsky, although dangerous, withdrew from his last match with a back injury again in Stuttgart so he's a bit of an unknown. Either way Fed should handle both guys with ease.
Into the quarters and Tomic is the likely opponent although you can't rule out one of the Germans (Mayer or Struff) coming through there. Tomic plays pretty well on grass and gave Nadal a run for his money at the Mercedes Cup on Friday but I don't think he plays offensively enough to really trouble Fed.
The semis is then seeded to be against Mr Consistent of 2015 Tomas Berdych, he has the big win at SW19 against Roger but the last couple of meetings between the two have been rather one sided. Berdych usually plays good on grass though so it could be an interesting one if they meet. Roger is the favourite but on this surface anything can happen.
As for the final, it's the number 2 seed Kei Nishikori who is the projected final opponent. Nishikori can play well on all surfaces with his game and looking at his section there aren't many tough opponents. Monfils is the only one that stands out and he'll be heading over to Halle right about now having lost to Nadal in the Stuttgart semi finals.
Overall I think it's a steady Masters 500 draw for Fed, its bound to change from what's projected as grass probably breeds upsets more than any other surface, the priority for Roger first and foremost is getting some matches under his belt prior to Wimbledon and then hopefully working his way into the tournament and getting a shot as defending his title come next Sunday 🙂
What do you guys think of the draw? Let me know in the comments.
2UNDR Men’s Athletic Underwear
Finally just a quick mention of another product I was sent to demo last month called 2UNDR. It's a new line of men's underwear designed especially for sports. I got sent a pair from the Gear Shift line (pictured above) which has been designed with tennis players in mind and they're really good.
As with a lot of new brands where the aim is to be cool/funny/on-trend there's a lot of gimmicky marketing spiel that comes with them like the “Joey Pouch™, a specialised, soft and comfortable pouch which houses and protects your package from unwanted skin-to-skin contact for reduced chafing and a perfect fit” and “Further enhanced by the 2UNDR No-Drip-Tip™, an additional moisture-layer which wicks away sweat to create a consistently soft, cool and dry environment ” followed by “Utilising Coldskin™ by Garmatex™ to promote cooling in areas where heat commonly builds during activity. This pioneering thermal-reduction material uses crushed jade minerals which have been woven into the fabric to reduce body temperature by three to six degrees, dissipating excess heat.”
Reading all that guff actually put me off the product prior to testing them but once I wore them on court I quickly changed my mind as it's a great product. I usually just play in cotton/lycra mix boxer shorts but they're not always the most comfortable especially on a warm day; the 2UNDR's on the other hand are exceptionally comfy, the fabric has a really good feel to it and you hardly realise you're wearing them which is probably the best thing about them. That's all there is too them really – nice fabric that feels good against the skin, a nice fit on the legs, comfortable and they don't get all sweaty after 2 hours on court. Basically everything you'd want from a boxer short when you're playing sport.
Any improvements? Well there doesn't appear to be any light colours which is a bit of a flaw in my opinion – if you play tennis in white shorts then wearing dark underwear underneath is a big no no for me. The same goes for cricket too which is another market they are targeting so they should expand the range of colours on sale.
That aside they definitely come recommended from me. If you're male, play a lot of sport and are looking for something comfortable to wear then 2UNDR's are definitely worth considering. They're not the cheapest at £24.99 but I don't think that's unreasonable as you're paying that for most standard branded boxer shorts which are nowhere near as comfy for sports.
Anyway let's hope Uncle Toni buys Nadal a pair for Wimbledon 😉 and you can check out the range over at 2UNDR.eu if you're interested.