The grass court season is finally here and Federer will be back in action on Wednesday June 14th at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart 🙂 . 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:
- Round 1: Bye
- Round 2: Tommy Haas / Pierre Hughes-Herbert
- Quarter Final: Mischa Zverev
- Semi Final: Tomas Berdych
- Final: Grigor Dimitrov
Thoughts on the Draw
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 third 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 opener 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 his 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.