Roger Federer will head to this year's Gerry Weber Open as the ATP's greatest ever performer on grass courts.
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Since 1973, Federer is the ATP's Win-Loss Index leader for career grass court matches. The 17-time slam winner's record on the surface currently stands at 122-18, and he's been able to pick up 13 titles in the process. Seven of these have been won at Wimbledon, where he's been able to stamp his mark on the game and earn a reputation as the King of the Lawns (which doesn't quite have the same ring to it as Rafael Nadal's King of Clay moniker).
Federer's Win-Loss Index stands at 0.871 (matches won per matches played) on grass, and he's followed on that list by John McEnroe (119-20 record) and Bjorn Borg (61-11 record). Intriguingly, Andy Murray stands at fourth on the list, ahead of Pete Sampras and Rod Laver, with a win-loss record of 73-14 and an Index of 0.839, in part thanks to his current 18-match winning streak on grass.
This means that Federer will enter the Gerry Weber Open and Wimbledon 2014 as the ATP's all-time leading light for lawn tennis. Even so, he's not necessarily the favourite to win the event. Nadal will be in the draw and hungry to make amends for last year's shock first round exit at Wimbledon. The Spaniard is also a former Wimbledon champ so his grass court credentials shouldn't be sniffed at.
Federer will also have to deal with the likes of Milos Raonic, Tommy Haas, and Kei Nishikori. Haas famously defeated him in the 2012 Halle final, whilst Nishikori has caused the Swiss maestro plenty of problems in recent times. It's hard to know what to make of Raonic though, as the Canadian hasn't yet worked out how to maximise his abilities on grass. His movement has improved lately though, and that booming serve is bound to leave a few scorches in the turf and cause a fair amount of dismay for fearful ball boys and girls (which seems a better term than 'ball people').
It's going to be hard for Federer to find the level of play that made him the dominant player of the 2000s (and a little beyond), though he could roll back the years during the grass swing, starting at Halle. He claims to believe that he can win Wimbledon this year, and few pundits would have the nerve to suggest that he's a rank outsider at the All-England Club.
Federer's matches, as well as all of the other key contests, will be available for live streaming from the Gerry Weber Open in Halle. The tournament will start on the 9th of June and conclude on the 15th of June.