The ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament has just taken place at the Rotterdam Town Hall and Roger will kick off his campaign on Wednesday at 7.30pm local time against a qualifier. You can see his projected opponents below:
Federer's Projected Opponents
- Round 1: Qualifier
- Round 2: Philipp Kohlschreiber / Karen Khachanov
- Quarter Final: Stan Wawrinka
- Semi Final: Sascha Zverev
- Final: Grigor Dimitrov / David Goffin
Thoughts on the Draw
So first up is a qualifier and there are some decent players in the mix with the likes of Medvedev, Seppi, Istomin and Sousa all trying to line up a place in the main draw. It's rare you get an easy start in an ATP 500 tournament with no byes on offer and whoever he faces in the first round will offer up some resistance.
Round two is either going to be The Cabbage Writer or Karen Khachanov. I watched a little bit of Kohli's match against Mirza Basic at the Sofia Open and the German looks to have absolutely zero form. He's never been one of the better players on the big points but from what I saw he's not really doing that well on the ones in between either 😆 and is yet to win a match in 2018 so I'd expect Khachanov to come through. The Russian played three indoor matches in Montpellier taking out Ferrer and Berankis before losing to Goffin so he has to be the favourite to make round 2 Roger has played Khachanov twice now and won their last encounter comfortably at this year's Hopman Cup although the second set went to the wire. I'd make Fed the big favourite regardless here and if we get a low-ish bouncing court I can't see Khachanov having the skills to handle what Fed can produce from a waist-high ball.
The Quarters sees the Stan the comeback man as the seeded opponent. The three-time slam champ looked in bad shape over in Melbourne but he's allayed fears of his knee injury this week in Sofia with decent wins against Klizan and Troicki respectively. I'd imagine facing Fed indoors is a step too far though and he will likely be tired playing back to back events so perhaps Haase can come through that section.
Into the semi-finals and Zverev is a likely opponent. He flopped at the Australian Open but had some morale-boosting wins at last weekend's Davis Cup and he's always extra motivated to beat Fed when they meet. The German said he hated the conditions last year in Rotterdam so it will be interesting to see if he handles them better this year if they are similar. Either way, I think he'll give Fed a good for a run for his money should they meet and based on their H2H it could go either way.
As for the final Dimitrov and Goffin are the top seeds in the other half of the draw. Grigor pulled out of Sofia this week due to a shoulder injury so he is a bit of an unknown, he did, however, make the Quarters in Melbourne without a second serve (yips) so if he sorts that out then he's going to be a test for anyone. Goffin is currently in the Open Sud de France semi-finals and seems to be playing ok. I watched his match against Simon and it was a complete break fest so I just couldn't seem him beating Fed twice in a row should they face off in a final but that's a long way off for both of them.
Expectations for Fed? Semi-Finals for me. It's a fairly strong field and like Fed said, how can a 36-year-old be a pre-tournament favourite at this level, it's just not cricket 😉
What do you guys think of the draw? Let me know in the comments.