Roger Federer's still very much in Stuttgart but he'll soon be taking a short trip North to Halle and the draw has just taken place for the Gerry Weber Open. You can see his projected opponents below.
Roger Federer's Projected Opponents
- Round 1: Alijaz Bedene
- Round 2: Benoit Paire / Steve Johnson
- Quarter Finals: Philipp Kohlschreiber
- Semi Finals: Dominic Thiem / Lucas Pouille
- Finals: Sascha Zverev / Kei Nishikori
Thoughts on the Draw
First up is Alijaz Bedene whom Roger played at this years Australian Open. The former Brit played at the Rosmalen Grass Court Championships rather than Stuttgart and lost in the first round to Copil. He's had an average year so far but he has a fairly well-rounded game and is the sort of guy that will always make you work for a win. Fed in straights for me in this one though.
Into Round 2 and it's either Steve Johnson or Benoit Paire. Paire lost in Stuttgart to Berdych and Johnson is yet to play since losing to Cilic at the French Open so I can't see either of them troubling Roger. Paire has moments of brilliance but over three sets his level is all over the shop. Johnson has a good serve + forehand but no real backhand. Perhaps less exposed on grass but he's not had a great season.
The Quarter Final section is wide open with former Halle finalist Philipp Kohlschreiber a likely opponent. The in-form Fuscovics is also in there but maybe Matthew Ebden can continue his mini grass court run having won 9 matches on the stuff already this year (5 in Surbiton before losing to De Minaur in the semis and 4 so far in Den Bosch where again he's in the semi-final). I'd like to think Kohli is favourite but I picked him to do well in Stuttgart and he lost first round so take it with a pinch of salt 🙂
Semis then sees Thiem as the seeded opponent who'll be playing his first tournament since getting the Nadal clay treatment in the Roland Garros final. I don't really rate his grass game as you need to be able to block returns and take short swings on the surface, neither which he can he do. He has won a title in Stuttgart though so you can't write him off if he's over the French Open loss. Pouille who Federer could still play in Stuttgart if they both make the final is the other name that stands out on paper.
As for the final, Sascha Zverev is in that half and if he's over the leg injury sustained in Paris is the favourite to come through that section. Nishikori, Gasquet, Bautista Agut and Coric are also in that section so it's certainly not a cakewalk for him.
Predictions for Fed? I think he will be playing next weekend but I'd like to wait and see how Stuttgart pans out before having an opinion on it. If he loses today, is he still favourite for Halle? Probably.
What do you guys think? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.