ATP Masters 250Mercedes Cup StuttgartRoger Federer

Mercedes Cup Draw 2017 – Federer Returns in Stuttgart

The grass court season is finally here and Federer will be back in action on Wednesday June 14th at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart ๐Ÿ™‚ .ย It is the Swiss maestro's second appearance on the turf at the Weissenhof Tennis Club after he debuted last year losing in the semifinals to Dominic Thiem in his comeback after the meniscus tear.

This year it's another comeback of sorts as Roger took a 10-week hiatus after his mind-boggling start to the season winning in Australia and then the taking down the Sunshine Double. You can see his projected opponents below:

Projected Opponents

  • Round 1: Bye
  • Round 2: Tommy Haas / Pierre Hughes-Herbert
  • Quarter Final: Mischa Zverev
  • Semi Final: Tomas Berdych
  • Final: Grigor Dimitrov

Full .PDF printable draw

Thoughts on the Draw

fed-stuttgart

First up is either wildcard Tommy Haas or Pierre Hughes-Herbert. Haas hasn't played since Rome and this year is more of a fairwell tour for him so I think Herbert is the likely opponent.

Roger has never faced the Frenchman but they've practised together before and he has a decent game for grass. He's played the main draw at Wimbledon for the last 3 years and made the thirdย round last year so he'll offer an early test but I like Roger's chances.

Having the luxury of a bye puts Fed into the Quarter Finals if he wins his openerย and it will either be a Qualifier or Mischa Zverev. The older Zverev got double bagelled the last time he played Roger on grass. But it's safe to say he's improved massively since then, finding the form his life over the last 12 months. Although if this year's Australian Open is anything to go by Roger handles him easily.

Into the semifinals and Berdych is the seeded player but hisย season has been up and down. The Czech can play well on the surface but both Tomic or Lopez are in his section and both are capable of taking him out.

The final is then seeded to be against Dimitrov. Dimitrov is another guy who's game translates well onto grass but after looking like he was about to step up after Melbourne he's taken another two steps back. Despite that, I think he will make the final from that section and should Federer make it too then it could be a close match. Dimitrov has youth on his side but post Australia he's been playing not to lose and that has cost him matches; if he goes for it then he'll have a punchers chance.

So, quite a tough draw, but with only 32 men taking to the court then there was never going to be much chance of easing your way into the tournament. Roger should be fresh as a daisy but lacks match practice and that suggests an upset isn't unthinkable given it's best of 3 on a quick surface but I'm fairly confident he'll be in the mix next weekend.

What do you guys think of the draw? Let me know in the comments.

PS: Just realised my email hasn't been working so if you sent me anything apologies, I won't have received it.

Jonathan

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 tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Federer and tennis in general.

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118 Comments

  1. Yay Roger is back on court…man its a long 2 months snooze. Hope he is not too rusty, should reach at least final. My expectations are a tad higher since this is his best surface.

  2. 6th.
    I fear my prediction of the FO title will come true. Stanislas….you are our only hope!

    Yeah, so excited about the grass! Roger made 64 million…highest paid.

    1. Hi Sue, Women’s Tennis had an upset, maybe the same will happen in Men’s? Keeping fingers crossed for Stan to do it…..Go Stan!
      I really enjoyed watching the young lady, Ostapenko, like a breath of fresh air in Women’s Tennis.
      Looking forward to seeing Roger…..Go Roger!

      1. I didn’t think so. Certainly she can wail on the ball (Did you see her average forehand speed is faster than Murray’s?) but she systematically moves her opponent side to side, seems to be thinking on court โ€“ obviously that should improve with age โ€“ and her mental fortitude is already phenomenal.

      2. Ostapenko was really going for the lines too though, not just bashing in the middle. She would do well to develop a good serve though.

    2. My feeling has always been that only Federer can beat Nadal in the final at RG.

      You can’t outhit Nadal on clay, and you can’t outgrind him, either. Only Federer has the ability to take the ball early and take away a fraction of Nadal’s time on every shot, and the variation to break up Nadal’s rhythm.

      Wawrinka’s now two sets and a break down. It’s looking to be a very long day for him, and a short one for Nadal.

  3. I know this is immature and anti-Fed aesthetic, but it’s hard for me to care about Stuttgart and Halle when when we know Wimby is the prize… And we have a more realistic hope at this point in the season than we have for years.

    Just me.

    Hope he makes the final here or in Halle so he can get match ready.

    1. If you don’t care about Stuttgart or Halle, why do you hope he makes the final? ๐Ÿ˜€

      I think he needs to play well in one of these to have a shot at Wimbledon.

      1. It’s ALWAYS interesting to follow Federer, prize or not, huge or small,win or lose (but that one is painful, too)

      2. I wrote above that I hope he makes a final because that will indicate some progress towards being “match ready” for Wimbledon.

      3. “I think he needs to play well in one of these to have a shot at Wimbledon.”

        Not if the AO ’17 prep and result is any indication. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Tournament Winner
    Stuttgart Federer
    Halle Federer
    Wimbledon Federer

    ?????โ˜บโ˜บโ˜บ??????โ˜‡โ˜‡โ˜‡??????????????????????

    G.O.A.T and the KING OF TENNIS????

    1. Thanks for this link, Sue. Loved reading about the “freshness, freeness” Federer-ness approach. ?

      1. The cutest part about the story is when he feels he is “too shy” to show up at a park unannounced to hit some tennis balls.
        Are you kidding me!

  5. Grass!! Finally!
    I think this is a tough draw for any playe who hasn’t played….. for a while! First couple of matches at AO were v mixed so kind of expecting that here! PHH has a big serve and decent volley… that’s going to be tough! Rog hasn’t been on grass at all!
    Not expecting too much from Stuttgart although he better win on Wed as I hv tix!!

    I read somewhere that he had to win both to get better seeding at Wimby with his history there and their seeding mechanism… has anyone done the maths?

    I am expecting 4th seeding with Novak bumped up too. The big question is will they keep Rafa at 2??

    Any thoughts??

    1. Hey Susie,

      This is the current race for Wimbledon seeding (I gather its current and accurate)

      http://www.openerarankings.com/Home?Race=3

      Roger currently sits at 5. He can’t reach Murray, Novak and the winner of RG. Becoming 4th is quite possible but depends on Stan and Nadal’s tournaments (if any they play?) before Wimbledon too.

      1. If Federer gets 110 points more than Wawrinka in the lead-up tournaments, then he will be seeded forth, as far as I understand. Which I would say is likely. Wawrinka might even pull out of Queens to get more rest (remember he played Geneva too the week before RG)

  6. Lovely to be reading a post and knowing Roger will be on court soon, feels like emerging from the desert& being offered a long cool drink.
    I have high hopes Roger will be keen too but it’s all about match play, building up for Wimbledon in the best shape possible at this stage.
    Ostspenko was a lovely surprise felt sorry for Halep & her coach though but wish she’ d distance herself from Nastasie for a bit, him popping up in Paris & sitting with her in his box…bad PR optics & brought back all that Davis Cup horror he created.

    Go Stan 2 RG would be such a special addition to his career, like Muzz’ OG trophies few have & given neither are likely to get heaps like the other 3.
    Enjoy Stuttgart Susie nice to know we have a PT ambassador there cheering Fed on !

      1. Tennis comment:
        I humbly redraw my previous remark on Ostapenko being (just) a ball basher. I watched the whole match (I passed on the male final after set #1, thank you, couldn’t care less) and was impressed by the sheer aggression she showed, going for the lines one ball after the other. It comes at a huge price (winners/errors close to 1.0), that may or not pay. I welcome that, at least for a change from the usual pattern of playing conservatively on the expectation of one more error from the other side (that’s what Halep did the whole match). I guess she’ll have to attemper that down a bit. Camila Giorgi is another fine example of someone who used to play it all out at the beginning too, but hasn’t found her groove yet.
        There, my 2 cents about FO.
        As for grass: I’m hoping for a hat-trick, but that would be pushing the expectations a bit too far. Stuttgart is within reach; the others I’m not so sure.

  7. I’m so glad to be watching something besides the clay season. It is so boring..I hope Roger does well. It looks like he’s been practicing a good bit. It could be an awesome year for him.

    1. Thanks Rosa Maria – some very nice statements – like feeling most comfortable with kids with their open emotional, he says – actually he looks so happy with kids around, giving attention and love to them! He would make a good kindergarten teacher as well ๐Ÿ™‚ !

  8. The grass season can’t come soon enough! The past two months felt sooooo long with clay, and completely predictable too. If Feds form in the year is anything to go by, he should reach the final without much problem.

    And GO STAN!

    1. Hope so. Herbert won’t be a push over though, and he has the luxury of playing 1 match before Fed too. Assuming he beats Haas of course who can also play on grass.

  9. Ahhhh Finally ! Would have been really nice for Federer to have those 10 weeks off. Even after such an astonishing start to the season, feels like a start again. I wont look two much into the next two weeks “result-wise”. I hope Federer finds himself in shape and good form heading into “the big Wimby”in 3 weeks, playing 6-7 matches on the grass courts would be huge plus along with a trophy in one or the two tournaments would again be really nice.

    Here s wishing Roger Good Health above anything else, watching him on courr is truly a an exeperience to savour everytime. :”)

  10. Okay, should be just grateful to see him again after the long long wait. But but noooo! Why on earth did you have your hair cut so short, Roger? ๐Ÿ™

  11. C’mon Roger! Wimbledon is the only thing that matters for the next month or so. Stuttgart and even Halle are of lesser importance.

    There are reports he’s been practicing on HC, not grass, with the balls they use at Wimbledon. So some matches on actual grass would probably be helpful before Wimbledon.

  12. It could’ve easily been 17-16 Grand Slams between Federer and Nadal folks. AO Final 1-3 5th set onwards was still somewhat a minor miracle. The GOAT race is still and truly on.

    1. Precisely! And I thought about that even before the AO final. ๐Ÿ™‚

      The more French Opens Nadal wins, the more it adds to Federer’s legacy because Nadal’s Slam wins are now even more overwhelmingly on one surface, and a one dimensional one at that (so are his overall titles). The only scary thing is Nadal has a shot at another one this year. So does Federer.

      A nobody just won the women’s title. Tells you what a horrible surface clay is.

      1. I agree with Sid for the French Open titles. I just want to remind everyone how the slam count would look if we remove the “best” slam for the top slam winning players.

        Federer : 11 slams (without Wimbledon)
        Nadal : 5 slams (without FO)
        Djokovic : 6 slams (without AO)
        Sampras : 7 slams (without Wimbledon) (he’s never won FO)

        Now people who say Fed ain’t GOAT are not only BLIND but also IDIOTS.
        Aside Wimbledon, Fed has won 5 times AO and USO. (and 1 FO) This just shows that he IS A GOOD PLAYER PRACTICALLY EVERYWHERE.
        Trust me, Rafa and Djoko will NOT equal these numbers as they rely too much on one slam. These numbers show that Rafa and Novak are pretty much mediocre at other slams. Can’t say that for Fed though.

      2. I’m going to expand what Vik listed. You will notice that will 3 less slams than Nadal, Djokovic has far more variety. What Nadal has achieved is fundamentally based on a surface that rewards endurance, and does not allow for all court players to be successful. By all court I mean S&V, front court transition, ability to finish points quicker via quality and geometry or strokes, having a great return or service). I suspect Nadal may sneak in another French Open. Federer definitely needs at least one more slam.

        Federer : 11 slams (without Wimbledon) (5 AO + 5 USO + 1 FO)
        Nadal : 5 slams (without FO) (2 WIM + 2 USO + 1 AO)
        Djokovic : 6 slams (without AO) (3 WIM + 2 USO + 1 FO)
        Sampras : 7 slams (without Wimbledon) (heโ€™s never won FO)

        If I find time and energy, I’m going to make a detailed post on how Federer’s win have more variety, and not just based on slam count.

      3. Do you think total slam finals made is relevant too? Not sure of the numbers, but my impression is that Fed has reached ( significantly?) more finals overall than Nadal. Certainly he reached many more than one French open final, losing to Nadal multiple times.

    2. Fed sure saved tennis, big time.

      No one has a clue how glad I am that Fed kept playing since 2012 and did not retire. IT was a given that Djoko and Murray would never keep up their play and that would have left it all open for the FO guy to rocket past Fed.

      Unfortunately for Fed, the job is not yet done.

  13. So, now that Rafael Nadal won La Decima, it’s up to Roger to respond and su his 8th Wimbledon Title.

    I have fairly high expectations for the grass court season. In fact, I expect a sweep – winning the MercedesCup, the Gerry Webber Open and Wimbledon.

    Considering that last year, Roger was injured and he still made SF in all three events, winning all three of them after him being in spectacular form and having plenty of breaks should not be a stretch.

    Now, unless he is incredibly rusty, I expect him to win and do very well. The only caveat and slight nervousness I have is if somehow he gets a Kyrgios (and or) Zverev in the early rounds at Wimbledon which could be problematic.

    I am not concerned with neither Murray, Djokovic or Wawrinka. Nadal also should not cause too much trouble on a fast surface. Plus, if Roger wins both Stutgart and Halle (as I am predicting) he should be primed to win Wimbledon.

    We shall see! ?โ˜๏ธโ˜บ๏ธ

    1. Agree. He did SF last year with injury. If he has recovered well and will continue to play that inspired tennis he played the start of this year, I can well see him winning Wimbledon for the 8th time and getting 19 slams. If Roger gets 19 slams, it would be incredible.

    2. Oh well, I guess at least that takes off any additional pressure to try and ensure that Switzerland is holding all four slams at once ๐Ÿ™ (Is Stan’s score worse than Roger’s in The Final Which We Don’t Mention?)

  14. RG final was boring and the result expected…..BUT a HORRIBLE DAY….why oh why did you cut your hair?????

    Every time Roger cuts his hair short the tennis results are a disaster. This is worse that the FO final!!!

    1. Just wait a week and you’ll get to see more than one picture… โ˜๏ธ

      Also, he won Halle in 2013 with a short hair.. Not that I believe in any of that.

      1. La Decima…. Meh…. Rafa’s celebrations are always exaggerated… Was this FO the easiest he ever played???

  15. For the first time Sid & I are in total consonance !!!

    The moment Rafa won the FO, I told a friend that he has just made his GOAT case weaker now as a whopping 66.66% of his GS titles are on only clay, whereas Fed by winning Aus Open strengthened his case or even sealed it.

    Nadal needs to win US Open or Wimbledon to progress his case, both which I doubt. In any case with such a lopsided GS tally, Rafa at best is King of Clay which I guess none of us will deny

    But then again clay-court tennis is a totally another game, so Rafa can be Emperor for all I care.

    1. Add to that that Nadal had the road to the final paved with rose petals, and this trophy means even less. I think his best result this year (so far…) was finishing runner-up at AO.

      1. Yes, it’s been embarrassing the lack of competition he’s had. I’d hoped Stan was going to prove the exception, but no … So glad I didn’t waste my Sunday afternoon watching.

    2. It’s about time some new players stepped up to the plate a bit really. And I don’t just mean to take out Nadal on clay, just in general. Not many able to make that breakthrough…

  16. I am excited for Roger now. I am sure that he is just as excited for the grass court. I am pretty sure that nothing less than a sweep through the grass court season will satisfy him so I expect greatness from the great maestro. But one match and one tournament at a time.

    Let’s go, Roger! Let’s go!

    Is Nadal playing any lead up grass tournaments? How about Djoker?

  17. It was a disappointing match from Stan, but I watched all of it and Nadal really did play well. He was hitting deep and hit a few winners too – it wasn’t just grinding and waiting for Stan to hit it long (although Stan did a lot of that too).

    It seemed Nadal’s 2nd serve had improved a lot. He will be brimming with confidence now. This will translate to grass – I don’t think he will be losing early in Wimbledon especially if his ranking is 2 or 3 now.

    To me in Wimbledon the dangers that could catch both Federer and Nadal are running into Kygrios or Querray or a Raonic type player.

    1. NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Please not a realistic Nadal threat at Wimby!! It’s been such a nice half decade….

      NOOOOOOO!!!!

      1. I noticed in yesterday’s Evening Standard that Rafa is saying he doesn’t think he’ll do well at Wimby because of his knees. Knowing what I do of Rafa, that might just be anti-jinxing.

  18. You bet Wanda. Now we will see Rafa next year.

    My guess is that the euphoria of winning the 10th FO will be so overwhelming for Rafa and thus how he does in the rest of the year will hold no major importance to him.

    Its like Novak winning FO and then the slide.

    My guess is that Rafa will win one more FO and will end his GS tally with 16.

    As for Fed, TWENTY !!!

    1. Hey Murli, been missing your poem as much as Fed’s tennis.

      Yep, let’s just let Rafa taking care of his small kingdom. Fed and we have much bigger kingdom to care.

  19. I see Roger plays Haas first up in Stuttgart. Awwww … (At least, hoping that doesn’t go awry).

    Not sure whether it’s Haas’s last tournament, or simply his last year on the tour.

    1. Yeah, 2 one handed backhands, love that! But agree, I don’t like the match when Roger plays against his friends…

  20. Absolutely LIVID and disgusted right now. Roger was pretty much booked for the title and now he loses to Haas after having multiple chances to not only close him out but also 7 chances to either break up or break back in the 3rd and he squanders them away.

    The only consolation if at all is that the last time Haas beat Roger in a tournament, Roger went onto win at Wimbledon. But all in all pretty disgusting and disappointing. Rust or no rust. He should have taken care of this…

    Pretty ticked off right now. DISASTER!

    1. Vily…. please don’t forget that we GOT our 18th. Jippee

      Oke, let him get some more matchplay after 10 weeks off.
      No worries and don’t be livid…. we all know the Goat does deliver ๐Ÿ™‚
      Remember AO??? He will bounce back…

  21. And that…… Roger….. is why…… you should NEVER get a haircut ๐Ÿ™‚

    Don’t you know by now that your strenght is in your hair ๐Ÿ™‚

    Please don’t let it be “short hair – 2013 results” again ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Fucking Haircut! I really believe it! ๐Ÿ˜€ We should really tell him about the haircut story…
    He lost!!! I think I am becoming despaired about Wimbledon. Was the start of the year just a “false” sign?

    ๐Ÿ™

    1. Hey Vik, if Roger ever even LOOKS at cissors again…. we will take him down and threat him with leaving him for Rafa or Djoko ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚
      Nah… we are not that pathetic right?? In the Goat we trust till the end ๐Ÿ™‚

      And don’t worry about Wimby…. Maybe Roger wants to let the players “know” that he is not ready… maybe he is acting to be unprepared ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. He lost focus….didn’t have his curls to put back in place between points!!! I was so looking forward to some grass court tennis as well. Maybe next week x

      2. Oh, Elizabeth – I agree ? – great mistake with this haircut he’s fingers not knowing their way, and impacting the rest of the physics and psyche as well…confusing!!

    2. I know that overall that’s not the end. I am pretty sure if this was a 5 setter, Roger would have surely won. In Best of 3 on grass, all it takes is a slip up in the Tiebreak and then again in the 3rd set, and it’s over. But over 5 sets, Roger would have surely won.

      Just upset because I wanted him to win this tournament since he’s never won it but Wimbledon is the big tournament so if he wins that, I’ll be ok.

      Just my immediate reaction is one of frustration because of all the hype about rest and a lot of practice and then he starts 6:2 and then to unravel, just to pick himself up but still to get broken and then have several chances to break back and nothing. I expected him to get it done… I guess it’s better to lose here than at Wimbledon… but still…

  23. Jonathan, am a bit in shock at the moment….did not expect this loss today, anxious to hear your analysis to this match.
    About all the haircut comments, myself, think he looks better with his curly look plus as Katyani mentioned, his strength is in his curly hair!

  24. Relax, people. This is the first match he’s played in ten weeks. He’s going to be rusty. And Haas is a special player–he was once #2 in the world, he can summon that level for one match, even at his age. It’s a nice thing for him to win this match, given it’s probably the last time he will ever play Federer.

    Federer has one more tournament where he can get more grass-court prep prior to Wimbledon. Hopefully he can make it to the final. Better that he lost this one in three sets rather than straights, he gets more time on court to figure things out.

    As for the haircut, I don’t particularly care for it aesthetically, but I don’t think it’s responsible for his loss, unless it affects his air resistance. Is it an aerodynamic haircut?

    1. I agree that this loss is not a telling loss. It’s similar to the Dovskoy loss. Roger was in control for most of the match. He clearly won many more points than Hass but somehow someway it slipped away from him. He’s probably just sat shocked as we are. It’s a tough opening round. It is what it is. Was hoping to see more of him but we’ll have to wait another week. I hope for him to process this loss quickly and to not let himself get in such position again.

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