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ATP Halle 2019 draw preview, predictions and tips - Federer faces early-round tests as he targets record tenth Gerry Weber Open title

Andrew Hendrie in ATP Tour 16 Jun 2019
  • Draw preview, predictions and tips for the 2019 Gerry Weber Open
  • Federer, Zverev, Coric and Khachanov lead the field as the top four seeds
  • The 2019 Gerry Weber Open is live from Halle between June 17-23
Roger Federer (PA Images)

Roger Federer has a potentially tricky path in front of him as the Swiss legend targets a record tenth Gerry Weber Open title in Halle this week.

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Nine-time Gerry Weber Open champion Roger Federer is back on the lawns of Halle this week as he attempts to hit double-digits and claim a record tenth title, but he faces stiff competition in the form of defending champion Borna Coric, who beat Federer in the final last year, and second seed Alexander Zverev, who has been a runner-up twice and is trying to recapture his best tennis after a tough season so far.

Add in former champion Philipp Kohlschreiber, the in-form Matteo Berrettini, World No. 9 Karen Khachanov and a couple of early round tests, and Federer will certainly have earned his 10th piece of Halle silverware if he does go on to win the title. Read on below as we break down the 500-level draw and predict who will emerge from each quarter.

First quarter

Projected quarter-final: Roger Federer (1) vs Roberto Bautista Agut (7) - H2H: Federer leads 8-0

Federer won’t mind seeing Bautista Agut as his projected quarter-final opponent in Halle - he’s won all eight of their previous encounters and has dropped just one set in the process. However, it’s his first two opponents that Federer could be concerned about. John Millman famously beat the Swiss in the U.S. Open fourth round last year and will have the chance to repeat that victory as he comes up against the top seed in the opening round, while if Federer gets through that, he will face a Frenchman - either former Wimbledon semi-finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or the in-form Benoit Paire.

Taylor Fritz, who has been playing some good tennis this season, plays Bautista Agut in the opening round and could easily knock the seventh seed out, while another French veteran and former Wimbledon semi-finalist Richard Gasquet is also lurking in this section. There’s some early tests here for Federer, but he played pretty well at Roland Garros and has plenty of match practice under his belt, unlike when he arrived in Halle last year.

Predicted semi-finalist: Federer

Second quarter

Projected quarter-final: Borna Coric (4) vs Gael Monfils (5) - H2H: Monfils leads 2-0

Coric could arrive for his Halle title defence with another piece of grass-court silverware under his belt, because at the time of writing, he is currently locked in a third set tiebreak with Adrian Mannarino in the semi-finals of s-Hertogenbosch, and if he can come through that, he will face either Jordan Thompson or Richard Gasquet for the title.

Coric faces rising young gun Jaume Munar in the opening round, but the Spaniard hasn’t played much on grass and his game isn’t best suited for quicker surfaces, so it’s not a bad opener for the Croatian, but Hubert Hurkacz could prove a tough opponent in the second round - provided the Pole makes it past a qualifier in his first match. Monfils meanwhile takes on big-serving compatriot Pierre-Hugues Herbert in his first match before a second round date with either wildcard Rudolf Molleker or a qualifier. Hurkacz could make this quarter interesting, but to me it’s shaping as a Coric vs Monfils quarter-final. The Frenchman has won both of their previous meetings, but they each came in 2016. Coric is a much better player now and will be hard to beat a third time if they do meet again.

Predicted semi-finalist: Coric

Third quarter

Projected quarter-final: Karen Khachanov (3) vs Nikoloz Basilashvili (6) - H2H: Khachanov leads 2-1

There’s a big chance for unseeded players in each of the two quarters in the bottom half of the draw. Both Khachanov and Basilashvili have been operating well below their best level all season and are each prone to an early upset here in Halle. Khachanov should be okay in his first round against Damir Dzumhur, but he could be in big trouble in the second round if Jan-Lennard Struff makes it past Laslo Djere in his opening round. The German has been playing some great tennis in 2019 and has three top 10 scalps under his belt and I think he could make it four if he ends up facing Khachanov.

Meanwhile, Basilashvili has lost his last three matches and that might extend to four as he meets Matteo Berrettini in the opening round. The Italian, who won the Budapest title earlier in the season, is currently into the Stuttgart final at the time of writing and hasn’t been broken all week. Berrettini, if he’s not too tired from his efforts in Stuttgart, is the favourite for me against Basilashvili and would then meet a qualifier in the second round. I can see a Berrettini vs Struff unseeded quarter-final playing out here, which would be a rematch of the Stuttgart semi-finals, which Berrettini won.

Predicted semi-finalist: Berrettini

Fourth quarter

Projected quarter-final: Alexander Zverev (2) vs Guido Pella (8) - H2H: Zverev leads 1-0

Another chance for some unseeded players to do some damage. Pella, despite beating Marin Cilic at Wimbledon last year, isn’t great on grass and his level has dipped from a superb start to the season, so I think he’s in danger of a first round exit against David Goffin, with the winner of that match to face the winner of Radu Albot and Matt Ebden in the second round. Honestly, all four players would fancy their chances of making the quarter-finals, but I’d give the slight edge to Goffin.

Second seed and two-time Halle runner-up Zverev faces the dangerous Robin Haase in the opening round, and if he survives that test, could end up squaring off against 2011 Halle champion Philipp Kohlschreiber in the second round. Kohlschreiber has a 3-2 record over Zverev and beat him in their last clash at the U.S. Open in 2018, and with Zverev in poor form, the elder German would be fancying his chances of defeating him again. Again, it’s a big chance for everyone in this quarter and I’m not Zverev is playing well enough to emerge from it.

Predicted semi-finalist: Kohlschreiber


Federer def. Coric
Berrettini def. Kohlschreiber


Federer def. Berrettini


The 2019 Gerry Weber Open is live from Halle, Germany between June 17-23.

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ATP Halle 2019 draw preview, predictions and tips - Federer faces early-round tests as he targets record tenth Gerry Weber Open title

Roger Federer has a potentially tricky path in front of him as the Swiss legend targets a record tenth Gerry Weber Open title in Halle this week.

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