ATP 500HalleRoger Federer

Halle Draw 2019: Federer Returns to Westfalen for the 17th Time

The Swiss is aiming to win his 10th Halle Crown at the newly named Noventi Open

The Halle ATP 500 draw has just taken place and Roger Federer will face John Millman in his first match on Tuesday 18th June.

It's the 27th edition of the tournament which has a new sponsor, Noventi, after the fashion retailer Gerry Weber International Ag filed for administration.

Roger is playing in North Rhine Westphalia for the 17th time in his career and is looking to win his 10th title at the Gerry Weber Stadion. You can see his projected opponents below.

Federer's Projected Opponents

  • Round 1: John Millman
  • Round 2: Benoit Paire / Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
  • Quarter Final: Roberto Bautista Agut
  • Semi Final: Gael Monfils / Borna Coric
  • Final: Alexander Zverev

Full .PDF printable draw.

Thoughts on the Draw

Noventi Open Draw 2019

First up is Roger's US Open 2018 conqueror John Millman and that's a tricky opening match against a guy who puts in maximum effort on every single point. The H2H is tied at 1-1 with Roger's win coming in a tough three-setter in Brisbane back in 2015.

Millman' sole top 10 win is the one against Roger but he's not had a great 2019 so far with an 11:15 win-loss record. The Aussie has played just one match on Grass, a loss to Dustin Brown in Stuttgart so they're starting off on fairly equal footing. Given Roger's record and the surface, I'd hope he comes through in straights with the first set being a close one.

Round 2 has either Benoit Paire or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga as the opponent. Paire is coming in off a good showing in Paris where he made the fourth round and he's not played any grass event prior to Halle.

However, he's shown he can play on the surface, having two match points against Federer in Halle last year so he's capable of defeating his fellow Frenchman in round one.

That is partly because Tsonga is still on the long road back from a lengthy period on the sidelines and hasn't been able to string too many victories together over the clay court swing.

Tsonga played in Stuttgart earlier this week, winning his opening match before falling to Raonic in a very tight three-setter. Despite his lack of wins, grass remains one of his best surfaces so it's a coin flip between him and Paire as to who comes through. 

As for their chances against Roger, both play flashy games that can cause upsets in best of three so it's another interesting one.

Into the quarterfinals and Roberto Bautista Agut is the top seed. Like Tsonga, the grass is one of Bautista Agut's best surfaces as he's a flat hitter but he won't have it easy with Taylor Fritz in the first round. Gasquet is also in his section but given he's still in Rosmalen and isn't back to full fitness I can't see him playing well in back to back events.

For the semi-finals, last years champion Borna Coric is in the other quarter along with Gael Monfils. Like Gasquet, the Croatian is currently playing in ‘s-Hertogenbosch where he's in the semifinals so comes in with at least 3 grass matches under his belt.

Monfils, on the other hand, lost to Kudla in Stuttgart in the second round and seems to be as unreliable as ever. Coric is obviously coming back with fond memories so he's probably the favourite to reach the last four. Pierre Hugues Herbert is also in this quarter and his game translates well onto the grass so you can't write him off putting a little run together.

As for the final, Dominic Thiem's withdrawal means that Sascha Zverev is the 2nd seed. Zverev played Stuttgart this week and came a cropper to Dustin Brown but he's made the final in Halle before and usually gets extra motivated when Federer is a potential opponent in the draw. Berrettini is the only other name that stands out in that half but I'd pick Sascha to make the final.


What are your thoughts on the draw? Predictions for Federer? Let me know in the comments.


Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or writing about tennis I play regularly myself and have a keen interest in tactics, equipment and technicalties of the sport.

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  1. Lol.the draw… that was tough..but great draw for me..wanted to assess how he was doing in grass, the more competitive his match the better..not good in our heart but it will be boost of confidence for wimbledon…

    1. If Roger can beat Coric playing 2 matches in 1 day in Rome then he can comfortably win his match against him well rested.

      1. Will he be well rested though…The schedule makes it seem like if he reaches the SF he will have played on Thursday and Friday already…

  2. Roger, you are my favourite tennis player, I never miss any of your Matches and to tell you the truth I always take a tranquilizer before, because I get very nervous ! My friends are laughing at me all the timeπŸ˜€. But what can I do , that’s me!!!
    Please try to win Roland Garros, make me the happiest person on earth. When you’re going to retire, I hope not soon, I will be very sad and will not watch tennis anymore, that’s for sure.
    Take care, God bless you and your lovely family. πŸ™β€οΈ

  3. This is not going to be a walk in the park and that’s not a bad thing. The first match will be tough. Beyond that, Roger should be fine, give or take a couple of tighter sets.

      1. Why that? Millman has no great results on grass and the defeat at USO was something special. This will not happen once more. Roger in straights during 49 minutes and 17 seconds πŸ˜‰

  4. Upperfalf is a single match FEDERER vs. FRANCE πŸ˜‰

    Lowerhalf. I don’t see Zverev coming reaching QF. He is still in a big low since the beginning of the year.

    Struff, Berretini or Goffin for the final.
    Some nice match-ups (but no real danger) before:: Paire, Gasquet, Coric? (not in this form – he would lose to Garin, if Garin was able to capitalize 2 breaks in the third set. Garin lost, not Coric won.

    1. Zverev just won Geneva and made the Quarter Finals in Paris. A clear improvement on his earlier form. I could see him doing well but he’s always capable of playing a disaster match.

      Struff has a good chance but has he ever played well on home soil?

  5. Queens has a tougher field, I think. Fed has some tricky matches. Top half a bit more challenging. Always so hard to know who gets hot and plays out of their shoes. Here we are in 2019 with Roger Federer as the top seed. Amazing.
    Go Felix!

      1. Who told him to play tennis, did him (and the tennis) a bad favor. I wish him to get well soon … in another sport or profession πŸ˜‰

      2. Maybe just enough to stop, heal injuries and switch to normal life?
        Take Kyrgios. He loves basketball. Bu parent decided for tennis. Probably just because of those millions. Is he happy? He would prefer to play challengers, to meet there guys like Dreddy, Bublik and similar. And play basketball on a level, he would be able to..
        Or Nick should play exhibitions with Dreddy for a lifetime. More happiness. Maybe more money too?

      1. Halt, PRF, bitte! πŸ™ I learned Wunderbar and Prost from a movie (Django Unchained to be precise). I learned Ich liebe because of….ahem….never mind. Gras I figured out from Google. So cut me some slack will ya?

      2. @TCT – I thought, you would like to know πŸ™‚ Django what? I know only Django Reinhardt Probably nothing to do with your Django? OK, now you learned something from PRF – ist this that bad? πŸ˜‰

      1. Aber geritten wird trotzdem πŸ˜‰
        BTW – Why is Suiss-German not the native language of this blog???

      2. You know, here, when someone is picky about someone else’s language, we call them a language Nazi or a grammar Nazi. Can I call PRF a Swiss-German Nazi? Ha! That would be so not PC! πŸ™‚

      3. In 2019 you can call anyone who you slightly disagree with a Nazi πŸ˜†

        Another classic case of a powerful word being thrown around at will which makes it lose all value.

      4. Language Nazi -nice πŸ™‚
        Maybe I don’t get your Djoke or you don’t get mine πŸ˜‰
        I know, how well (:() my English is and I have met some Language Nazis both here and even more on old Roger’s website.

        Well, I’m taking all this as teaching and I’m eager to learn πŸ™‚
        BTW – I don’t understand a word, when Rger (or anyone else) speaks Swiss-German or Basler dialect.

        And – LN would fit my person very well, because I’m language professional (not in English ;)).

      5. No schedule yet, but I found on Halle website, that Zverev is starting on Monday. So I guess Fed starts on Tuesday.

    1. Who can challenge Federer in Halle???
      No Dustin Brown, no Florian Mayxer there, Kohlschreiber too old. Most of tougher guys in London.

      1. @Wanda
        Understand your irony. Thiem would be seeded 2 but would not survive to meet Federer. Still with this lightweight draw he could reach SF.

      2. @Jon
        I hope, in Wimbledon. If he can recover well, I expect from him at least second week, but you know, how tricky grass is. There come some Stakhovsky and upsets Federer in second round. Or Dreddy makes qualies and you meet him in first round. Only the biggest on grass can be substantially sure, they come deep.

      3. @Jon,
        I have probably mistaken you. You meant, when I’m going to watch him live, seating on the court, right? The answer is unfortunately – never. I can only watch him “live” via streaming. My life does not allow for travelling. And travelling is one of tools of destroying the planet.
        Vienna would be the closest for me, but still too long travel.
        Thiem will not visit Poland. We have only some challengers.
        And … principally I don’t lick to be in the mob. These days crowds are mobs, not fans.. Maybe not in Germany or Holland. Maybe not in Spain.
        For sure in Austria. They have Thiem and they had Muster. Not enough to turn a tennis nation.

      4. @Jon
        Again about watching live. I need probably around 7 years (expected life of my dog, who has some special care needs). Then Thiem is only 32, I’m still 77 years young and then I can travel to every tournament (assuming, I have some bucks still πŸ˜‰
        How many times and were did you watch Fed live? Maybe a poll for blog users and some article about Fed’s live fandom?

      5. Yes, I thought watching Thiem live would be a goal for you as it’s much different compared to TV. But I guess with a dog it makes travel difficult. Can nobody else look after for 2 days? You not taking a flight isn’t going to help save the planet πŸ˜†

        Most crowds aren’t mobs. I’ve never been to an event where the crowd was football like tbh.

        I’ve watched live several times, I think most are documented on the blog that I’ve put out there. But I enjoy my privacy so don’t always share πŸ™‚

      6. @Jon,
        I know. The planet is going to be ruined, if I take a flight or not. But I would rather take a railway to have less stress and actually I always liked railway for longer travels πŸ™‚
        Theoretically it would be possible to get my daughter to tit with the dog for a while. But I would need to know before, how deep he comes, so to watch him at the highest level possible. Well, now that Herwig Straka is his manager, maybe he finds a way for Thiem to win Vienna. In this case I would come to see SF and F πŸ™‚
        Will ask Straka for guarantees πŸ˜‰

      7. Travel via rail in Europe is fun. You just have to gamble and buy tickets for the quarterfinals or something and hope he gets there in advance.

      8. Well, Jon, gamble is not my thing. If I decide to travel, I go for the whole tournament and buy tickets until the final πŸ˜‰
        Maybe I could sleep at no cost in Bresnik’s Academy, hahaha …he is sooo nice guy πŸ™‚

      9. Just looked at ticket sellers. I could start on Tuesday (Thiem always starts on Tuesday, it’s called THIEMstag (Dienstag = Tuesday), then to the end. 6 tickets, taking Premium seats near the court (if Thiem does not invite me to his lounge ;)) would be around 500 EUR. Acceptable πŸ™‚

      10. @Jon
        First apologies – there is a post with my avatar but weird user name (stag …”. It’s mine. It awaits for moderation. Could you edit my nick and let it go? Thank you:

        Meanwhile I got another idea – Rod Laver Cup. 3 days tickes costs about 4.000-5.000 EUR but then I would see live Thiem. Roger and Rafa !!!

        Bit more costly and complicated – 21 hours with rail. Switzerland is not UE, so I probably need visa a.s.o.

        But only 3 days. plus 2 days of travelling πŸ™
        And some preparing lessong of Swiss-German πŸ˜‰
        OK, enough with that. Do you know, if Roger plays tomorrow or Tuesday?

      11. I would pick Vienna over Laver Cup. More attractive pricing and the city will be cheaper for food and accommodation.

        I’m a bit disappointed by the Laver Cup ticket prices this year tbh. I only had a quick look but it seems prices have gone through the roof. I thought the tournament was about bringing tennis to new places and new fans that otherwise found it hard to access.

        No schedule yet for Halle as far as I know.

  6. Thank You for a great post, Jonathan. Am tickled to see Roger back in action, may the Roger Federer Allee lead him to his 10th Halle Title. Yes, Sid, Prost to Gras, and a WIN for Roger!

  7. Millman might be tough. However, if Fed has been positively affected by his clay court swing, there is no way to know how he will perform here. It did seem to me that he is playing a bit like he did in 2017, but I might be completely biased in my assertion. I still marvel every day at the fact that he is still ranked third in the world and winning against players that is at the top of their game. Go Fed!

    1. “However, if Fed has been positively affected by his clay court swing, there is no way to know how he will perform here.”

      Not sure what you mean? πŸ™‚

      First matches on grass are always tricky, I think he will feel confident given how clay went though.

      1. Yes, the difference being that he has chosen to play clay this year hoping it will be good for the grass in the long run. I thought it went well for him so far so here’s hoping it will keep getting better on the grass.

  8. Yey grass! My favorite season πŸ™‚
    Would be cool for us, including Fed πŸ˜‰ to get No.10 there but I shall not be so greedy. One match at time
    I’m not really excited to see Coric in his half, though.

    1. It’s not Coric from 2018. You can have a calm sleep πŸ˜‰ Somehowe every tougher opponent in London this year.

  9. Tough draw with players who have beaten him recently in the draw. But this is grass and as long as Roger has his serve in the high 60’s, he should have his first grass title for the year. Hope he doesn’t try to beat Millman and Coric from the baseline and stick to his strengths.

  10. Tough but fun draw! Fed will like it! Needs to hit thru Millman and then it’s 1st strike tennis all the way Plse!
    Not dismissing Struff or Berrettini to do well here. As both had and are having a solid Stuttgart!
    Hoping weather improves and grass speeds up took

    1. You call it tough draw?
      Upper half in London features: Tsitsipas, Kyrgios (you never know, when he decides to play seriously), Diitrov, Aliassime, Del Potro, Shapovalov, Fucsovic, de Minaur. Where do you have comparable names in Halle?

    2. How come Thiem withdrew from such a weak fielded grass court event? Who is advising him here? Easiest ATP 500 to win in the world ever and he skipped it.

      1. I guess, he is advising himself about health. Maybe his doctor. He withdrew because of health issues, causing fatigue not because of being fatigued with the game itself.

        Hahaha, it’s the easiest ATP500 to win for Federer, not for Thiem πŸ˜‰

        But if you are ill and exhausted and need rest, you don’t care about anything but Wimbledon, right?

        And his new adviser (probably not re health) is Herwig Straka, director of Vienna tournament, no more Bresnik. So maybe it was his advice?

        Next time they play Halle not just a week after Thiem plays FO final, but after Wimbledon, Thiem comes and wins (others would play Wimbledon’s final and be fatigued πŸ˜‰

  11. Halle:
    3. Federer
    5. Zverev
    9. Khachanov
    14. Coric
    16. Monfils
    17. Basilashvilli
    20. RBA

    5. Tsitsi, 8. Anderson, 12. Delpo, 13. Medvedev, 15. Cilic, !8. Raonic, 19. Wawrinka

    I don’t see one being strong and the other weak.

    1. This is not lottery. Look on players and their current potential.
      In any case Roger’s draw is quite easy and he wins it not losing a set.

  12. What Susie said. Hope β€œFed will like it” proves to be true! Based on what we saw at RG (moving freely, seems in good spirits) I’m optimistic he’ll do well. Title is not unrealistic but one match at a time; Millman has the advantage many don’t of knowing he CAN beat Fed if conditions are right. Of course he’s probably not going to get the same stiflingly hot humid conditions of last year’s USO.

  13. Looking forward to seeing Federer playing on grass. I’m hoping he he plays well and wins Halle.

  14. PRF, if you go to SW19, why don’t you write a fan report on Thiem? Oh wait…..this is a Fed fan site.

    If you want to hear about someone that is playing with challenges, google sickle cell anemia and you will see what Tsonga lives with. USA live expectancy is 42-47 yrs.

    1. Now, it was a mistake. I never watch tennis live. I’m immobile. I never travel.
      I know about Tsonga. Not sure, what was the context of you telling me about it? To compare with Thiem’s health issues?
      I would never compare such things. Everyone on Earth has or may have such or bigger challenges.
      It was only explanation of Thiem’s “fatigue”. I was not lamenting. He has quite a happy life and is happy with it, I guess. I wish all others to have such a life. I wish Jo, he can win this battle. It sometimes happen, when you are mentally strong and believe πŸ™‚

    2. If I would really go to SW19, I would write a big fan report – on Thiem and on Fed, so it would fit well here and on my blog (of which you are a godmother ;))

    3. This is a tennis site. I’d publish a fan report on Thiem if it was written.

      I didn’t know about Tsonga either, never really talked about.

      1. Thank you, Jon, maybe this will encourage me to visit Vienna this year? Unfortunately Fed cannot come there – plays Basle at the same time. But Vienna has mostly quitew decent field.

      2. I live in Central Poland – meaning 100 km from Warsaw or from Lodz. 7 hours from Warsaw with a train. ” hours by car from my forest to Warsaw. Not impossible πŸ™‚ Must discuss first with my dog, then Straka, then with my daughter πŸ˜‰
        The problem is, my dog was taken from euthanasia because of heavy health problems and the owner didn’t want to take care and spend some money πŸ™ She has an atopic skin inflammation and you never know, what happens tomorrow.

        Maybe I need to let scruples aside and set my daughter under heavy pressure πŸ˜‰

    1. Not before 17:30 like Zverev today , I guess. They publish the schedule first late afternoon/evening for the next day. Or you can ask your secret connection πŸ˜‰

  15. Nice weather forecast for Tuesday – sunny day, around 25C at 6:00pm. Weather for Fed, right? With higher temperature and dry air ball bounces quicker on grass too?

    1. Was this really an upset? Herbert is a doubler, has good serve an d can play at the net. May be more dangerous than Monfils would be.

  16. It’s always exciting, just a few hours from another opener for Roger.
    Doesn’t matter if it is 3 months or 3 days far from his last match.

    Good luck today Roger πŸ™‚

    1. I could translate it into EN, but unfortunately they don’t accept Adblocker and I don’t accept ads πŸ™

    2. Yeah shame on for not providing their content for completely free for you to consume πŸ˜•

      Adblock users are asinine IMO. How can you expect free content but not be willing to see some ads?!

      1. I’m offering a lot of content for free. You too. I would accept “pay-per-view”, so I pay only for content I really want to read/watch.
        I’m not looking for illegal free streams, but I pay for TennisTV, Eurosport a.s.o..
        General media offer 99,9% content I don’t need.
        Some offer free reading but you must pay for ability to comment.
        Or you was kidding?
        I could tell them, it’s better, I don’t watch ads, because I never buy anything I get to know from ads – these products or brands are instantly blacklisted in my brain πŸ˜‰

      2. I have ads on this site to cover hosting expenses. You won’t see them as you have adblock. You wouldn’t see many anyway as there’s less targetting for Poland.

        Yes – you pay for TennisTV – and there are no ads. A fair trade-off.

        Whenever you go on a site that monetises via ads and your adblocker kicks in – that’s not a fair trade-off.

      3. Never seen any ads here and thought, you have none.
        But you are not commercial provider, so I will whitelist your site in Adblock, so you can get maybe additional cents πŸ™‚
        This is fair trade-off, because you offer valuable content for free and I guess you don’t go to be rich by these ads πŸ˜‰ Did you think about donations? I have seen them on some blogs, including one tennis blog. No idea if someone really donates.
        I would not donate your site, assuming, you can have some compensation by reading ad-free my blag. Fair trade-off? πŸ˜‰

      4. Haha ok thanks.

        Nah you aren’t going to get rich running a tennis blog. Look at how many people start one and then the domain no longer exists in 6 months. I have had a lot of messages from people starting wanting advice and publicity. I often bookmark them and 90% are dead after a few months.

        I’ve never considered a donate button. Not something I’d do tbh, I don’t expect others to fund what’s essentially a hobby from their own pocket. I think it looks a bit cheap. The ads are the tradeoff. A slight reduction in user experience but free to all.

        I didn’t put ads on the blog until 2016 I think but having reasonable hosting + backups has some cost. So I changed my mind.

      5. Maybe i’m going to follow you with ads. I have even more costs (Plus version of Dropbpox with 2TB for full match videos, so it probably is enough to hold Thiem’s matches from the whole career. πŸ˜‰ (I guess, I’m not going to live so long until he hangs up the racket or I will be alive but no more able to maintain and finance the blog ;)).

        So far my remedy, I don’t check, how much it all costs, so long I can still translate for money and the balance on my bank account is somehow stable πŸ™‚

        But one day – who knows?

        My blog will be this autumn 2 years young, so it probably does not disappear next time.

        You must hold it at least until Fed (xxx – prohibited word ;)), which means for ever, haha

        But you have so many regular readers, you could ask them to participate somehow in financing (I declare to donate so long your blog is so good as it is).
        And I’m allowed to post here sometimes about DT …

    1. In most cases, you’ll get retargeted ads based on other sites you have visited. If you were looking at Rolex watches on a site running ads, you’d probably get them πŸ™‚

      1. OK, but why I get Rafa promoting Babolat rackets? I don’t visit his website, blogs or forums, whatever. Neither Babolat. Maybe I’m visiting some sites, not knowing I’m doing it πŸ˜‰ Even with AdBlock.

        It all goes in circles and you can’t really control it all.

  17. The shaded of roof construction on court are annoying when watching. Are they also disturbing players?

  18. I think, we should now finish our nice conversations, while FedFans are getting nervous and running to local drugstores to get some tranquilizer) or next dealer to get something stronger πŸ˜‰

    1. No need for that. Roger won a very fast paced match. Surprisingly he didn’t come to the net very often (I missed games 5, 6 and 7 as I was walking to the bus). A few errors but solid grinding from the base line. Good service too.

      1. In first set Millman have hit deep baseline strokes, using full power – maybe that’s why Roger didn’t go so often to the net. Too risky.
        And for sure needed some adaptation switching from clay to grass.

  19. Does Roger look to have some cold? Millman gave all what he had. The serve saved Roger the first set.. In the second he was more relaxed, could rise the pressure when it was important. Typically Federer πŸ™‚ Hopefully he can recover from that cold until Thursday.
    BTW: I have recorded the match. If someone interested, Jon, I can make it available on Dropbox.

  20. Fed was rusty in the first set,but served his way easily through the tie break.
    Got rid of Millman easily in the second.
    A satisfactory revenge.

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