Roger Federer begins his run for an 18th slam title and first since 2012 with what should be a fairly straight forward match for the former No.1. He takes on the Argentinian Guido Pella who is far more at home on clay and has never won a match on this surface at main draw level.
Pella found himself inside the top 50 earlier in the year on the back of some good performances in Rio and Indian Wells amongst other places and should have the opportunity to progress further having failed to qualify last year for this event, losing in the final round of qualifying.
Meanwhile, it gives Federer a straight forward match to ease himself into the tournament as plenty of questions are being asked about whether he is fit enough for a full slam run. Skipping the French Open seemed logical if he was preparing for a deep run here instead although there have to be worries over Stuttgart and Halle passing without a title. Losses to Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem are disappointing especially when Federer has thrived on the German grass. However his recent comments suggest he is not too worried about that and happy that he has matches under his belt.
“Getting some confidence and some knowledge of where I was going to be in those seven matches in 10 days in Stuttgart and Halle [was important]. I think that was crucial for me going into Wimbledon knowing I passed that test and that the body can take that amount of tennis.”
If Federer is feeling 100% fit, he is still highly likely to make the final four and an opening round match against an opponent that shouldn’t trouble him at all in theory is a great way for Federer to start his tournament.
Prediction – Federer in straight sets