The Rotterdam draw is out! And Roger faces Grega Zemlja in his first match at the Ahoy which I'm guessing will be on Tuesday or Wednesday.
It's a nice start to the tournament for Federer as Zemlja is unlikely to cause too many problems. They have only met once before and that was in Doha in 2012 where Roger cruised through.
I remember watching the match against Zemlja and it was far too easy, Roger got through that day without really having to get out of first gear. We know that he also had a bad back that tournament as he withdrew after his next match; so to only drop 5 games proves he is leaps and bounds ahead of the Slovenian. I predict a similar scoreline this time around in Rotterdam with Roger winning through 6-4 6-2.
In terms of potential opponents Roger's draw pans out with the following:
- 1st Round: Grega Žemlja
- 2nd Round: Mikhail Youzhny
- Quarter Final: Jerzy Janowicz
- Semi Final: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
- Final: Juan Martin Del Potro
Obviously those are the expected opponents, everyone is immediately eyeing up a Federer vs. Janowicz encounter in the Quarters after the Pole made some comments in the press about Djokovic faking it and Federer thinking he is above everyone. They may have been lost in translation but running your mouth off with an empty trophy cabinet is never a good idea so I guess that match might be interesting (assuming Federer even saw them).
To be honest though I think Hanescu will take care of Janowicz in the first round. Even if he makes it past the Romanian he will likely meet Benneteau in the next round which is never easy. Benneteau is quite a good indoor player and I think he has too much tactically for Janowicz.
Either way I can't see Roger not making the semi finals here, if the court plays like last year then we are in for a treat. I have heard rumours it's been slowed down compared to last year, no surprises there, but that remains to be seen so until we see live action so there's no point worrying about that. Even if it is a tad slower it's still indoors and that suits his game down to a tee.
Potential Federer vs. Tsonga Semi Final
Fresh off the back of their 5 set encounter at the Australian Open Roger could yet again meet Tsonga and that would be an interesting match.
Clearly Tsonga will be motivated to get his revenge after losing in Melbourne and he will have probably analysed the match with his coach Roger Rasheed on what he needs to improve in order to win.
Obviously they both have to make the semi's but if Tsonga returns serve like he did at the Australian Open he will be quite a handful for anyone including Roger. I still make Roger the favourite though because this is indoors and he can keep the points a lot shorter.
Other Interesting Matches
In the other half of the draw the top seeds are Juan Martin Del Potro and Richard Gasquet. Del Potro has potentially tough first round against Gael Monfils. All depends which version of Monfils turns up, if it's Clownfils then he has no chance but by the same token if the Del Potro that lost to Chardy in Australia turns up he's also not going to have it easy.
All the young guns are in this half of the draw too with Bernard Tomic facing off against Grigor Dimitrov in the first round. Both of those guys are touted for big things so it will be an interesting one. I give the edge to Tomic but he hasn't proved himself outside of Australia yet.
The full draw can be seen below:
The Best Federer in Rotterdam Last Year
One of my favourite points of 2012 😉
Anyway, that's a wrap. There's nothing else to say and all we have to do now is wait around until Federer plays his first match which I'm already looking forward to.
It's a strong field with some interesting match ups already confirmed so it's all set to be a fun tournament. It's also the 40th anniversary this year so the atmosphere and the crowd numbers should be pretty big. Allez les Suisse!