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
Thoughts on the Draw
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.