The Mercedes Cup draw has just taken place at the Wiessenhof tennis club and it signals a return to competitive action for Roger Federer who hasn't played since the Miami Open way back in March! You can see his projected opponents below:
Roger Federer's Projected Opponents
- Round 1: Bye
- Round 2: Mischa Zverev / Qualifier
- Quarter Final: Denis Shapovalov
- Semi Final: Nick Kyrgios / Feliciano Lopez
- Final: Milos Raonic / Lucas Pouille
Thoughts on the Draw
First of all, bring on the grass courts! My interest in tennis has died a death during the clay court swing as the enjoyment level of watching just isn't there. The same game styles over and over, non stop retrieving and it is just all a bit meh. Some fun points now and again like in the Djokovic Cecchinato tie-break but overall I've found it a bit boring and one paced like you are watching the same point over and over again. I saw a quote from Marat Safin in a recent interview saying everyone is playing the same boring mediocre tennis. Agreed!
Now onto the draw, Roger gets a bye in round 1 due to this one being a 250 and he has a potentially tricky match first up against Mischa Zverev. Roger, of course, dominates the H2H on grass and once double bagelled Zverev in Halle but he's not the type of guy you want to face coming in cold as he's got a decent serve, a hard to read forehand and will come forward to apply pressure. He also gave Fed a decent test in Halle last year so it's not a given this one considering how Roger struggled against Haas in Stuttgart last year.
The Quarter Finals doesn't get any easier either with Shapovalov the likely opponent. He's more than competent on grass winning Junior Wimbledon in 2016 and winning a few matches at Queen's Club last year. The Candian is a flashy shotmaker and that style should do well for him on grass so it could be a fun match. Hopefully, Fed does face Zverev first up as he's also a leftie. which will serve as a little prep.
As for the semifinals, the likely opponent is the man who seems to have been absent from the tour as long as Roger, Nick Kyrgios, who is making a return from an elbow problem that's kept him out of singles action since Houston in April. The Aussie has been playing doubles though, including a brief run out in Surbiton so he has a little bit of match practice under his belt and says he is able to serve pain free. Should be an interesting one if it happens and Kyrgios only really has Lopez and Simon to contend with to come through in his section.
From the other half of the draw, defending champion Pouille is the top seed, with Berdych and Raonic also in there. It's hard to really pick a favourite to come through there. Pouille had a crap clay court season, Berdych is in poor form and Raonic has been riddled with injury. Perhaps Kohlschreiber is one to watch as he usually plays well on home soil making the final here a couple of years ago.
Expectations for Fed? None really, he'll be rusty for sure but I'm just looking forward to seeing this guys brand of tennis again. Looks like he might be using the new RF97 too which is coming out in July with white added to the frame at 3 and 9 o'clock. No spec change, just cosmetic. Thoughts?