ATP Halle 2015 Draw Preview and Analysis

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© Ray Giubilo

© Ray Giubilo

 

Much like Queens, the Gerry Weber Open in Halle has had an upgrade to an ATP World Tour 500 tournament. The German event has been dominated by Roger Federer who has seven titles from nine finals while Tommy Haas is a two time winner with victories in 2009 and 2012.

Check out the Full Draw: ATP Halle 2015 Draw

Watch the Halle matches Live: Gerry Weber Open Live Streaming

Federer begins his quest for number eight against Philipp Kohlschreiber, one of the tougher non seeds in the draw. Kohlschreiber is a one-time Wimbledon quarter finalist at Wimbledon while also winning this event in 2011, taking advantage after Federer withdrew via injury. He was also the losing finalist in 2008, one loss of his eight total to Federer in his career. Federer’s suffered his first week one loss at Wimbledon in 2013 in thirteen years when he played potential round two opponent Sergiy Stakhovsky. The Ukranian will play Ernests Gulbis in round one, assuming he has recovered from the injury that saw him retire down 5-3 in the final set against Samuel Groth last week.

Seventh seed Bernard Tomic looks to get back to winning ways in Halle when he faces Steve Johnson. The Australian took Rafael Nadal to three sets in a Stuttgart loss last week and is fairly handy on grass, having one Wimbledon quarter final to his name. Johnson is 4-5 on grass in his career with one of those wins coming on a retirement. The winner of this clash will play a German, be it wildcard Jan Lennard Struff or Florian Mayer, who uses his protected ranking to secure entry.

Also amongst those who made multiple finals is Tomas Berdych who takes his place as third seed. The 2007 champion had been remarkably consistent this year, never losing to a player outside the top 10 in 2015 prior to his French Open loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. There doesn’t seem much in the way of competition to see that record extended to two losses, especially with Victor Estrella Burgos first up. Borna Coric’s first foray on to grass this year was dire, with the youngster winning just two games to Viktor Troicki.

Ivo Karlovic can cause trouble for Berdych as eighth seed but beyond that, it is slim pickings in the second quarter of the draw. Karlovic plays Santiago Giraldo while young wildcard Alexander Zverev will face Jarkko Nieminen. Karlovic has made 4 grass finals in his career, with both titles coming at Nottingham.

After a lengthy injury lay off, Tommy Haas will play his second tournament in just over a year. He managed to win his opening match in Stuttgart last week over Mikhail Kukushkin. The two-time champion would be a live outsider with a bit more match sharpness but it seems too early for him to launch a run. He opens against Andreas Seppi with Tommy Robredo the first possible seed. Robredo plays his first non-Wimbledon grass court tournament since 2010, where he was a round two loser in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

Fourth seed Gael Monfils has a 25-17 record but has never made a final on the surface. He matched his best of a SF for the third time in Stuttgart, losing to eventual winner Rafael Nadal. Czechs Lukas Rosol and likely Jiri Vesely stand between him and the quarter finals, with Vesely having beaten Monfils in the second round of Wimbledon last year. Vesely must first beat Mikhail Kukushkin to advance.

Alejandro Falla looks set for a major points loss, with the 2014 finalist unlikely to repeat his run of last year. The Colombian first had to qualify although he is fortunate enough to draw another qualifier in Lukas Lacko. Sixth seed Pablo Cuevas is there for the taking given he has played just three main tour matches on grass, going 1-2. 2013 Wimbledon semi finalist Jerzy Janowicz has a chance to make a run here with the way the draw has fell for him with both of these matches very winnable for the Pole.

Kei Nishikori may prove a step too far as the Japanese star looks set to bounce back from what was a disappointing French Open for him, with many touting this week’s second seed as a dark horse to win the trophy. He faces Dominic Thiem in round one, who lost to Mischa Zverev in Stuttgart. Meanwhile, another Austrian could await in round two but it seems unlikely that Andreas Haider Maurer can defeat Dustin Brown if the German brings his form of last year that saw him defeat Rafael Nadal.

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