2018 Gerry Weber Open Draw: Preview & Analysis

Jun 17 3 min read

10:01 am

Roger Federer giunge in finale a Halle on Flickr by Tennis Streaming under CC2.0

The 2018 Gerry Weber Open at Halle makes its 26th appearance on the ATP circuit as the players lineup for one of the most important grass court events before Wimbledon.

Nine-time Champion Roger Federer will make his 16th appearance at Halle as he looks to defend his title. The Swiss returned to the World No.1 spot after a successful run at Stuttgart and confirmed his spot as the top seed at Wimbledon. In order to defend his Halle crown, he will have to overcome the likes of Alexander Zverev, Dominic Thiem, Roberto Bautista Agut, Lucas Pouille, Kei Nishikori, Richard Gasquet and other top ranked players.

Top Half: Federer, Thiem, Pouille, Kohlschreiber

No.1 seed Roger Federer will be up against Aljaz Bedene in the first round. Earlier this year Federer defeated Bedene in straight sets at the Australian Open en route his 20th Grand Slam title. World No. 45 Steve Johnson will face World No. 47 Benoit Paire in what shapes as an evenly matched opening round battle. Johnson and Paire have met twice before and both have won a match each. This will be their first meeting on grass. The winner of the match is likely to face Federer in the next round.

Federer’s quarter-final opponent will be one of the following: Malek Jaziri, Matthew Ebden, Marton Fucsovics or sixth seeded Philipp Kohlschreiber. Apart from Ebden who he has never faced before, the Swiss Maestro enjoys a unbeaten head to head records against all the other probable quarter-finalists.

2018 Roland Garros finalist Dominic Thiem will face a qualifier in the opening round followed by Maximilian Marterer or Yuichi Sugita in the second. 2018 Stuttgart semi-finalist and fifth seed Lucas Pouille will face next gen star Stefanos Tsitsipas in the first round. Tsitsipas reached the quarter-finals at s-Hertogenbosch this year and can be an early threat to Lucas Pouille. Both Pouille and Thiem crashed out in the second round last year at Halle. The duo will hope to overcome their initial obstacles to set up a quarter-final clash against each other. Pouille leads 2-0 in their rivalry but they are yet to meet on grass.

Bottom Half: Zverev, Agut, Nishikori, Gasquet

Second seed Alexander Zverev finished as the runner-up in 2016 and 2017 and is still looking to become the seventh German player to win the Gerry Weber Open. He begins his campaign against a difficult opponent, Borna Coric. Coric leads Zverev 2-1 in their head to head record. Zverev won their last meeting at the Miami Masters quarter-finals this year. They will meet for the first time on grass with the winner to play Peter Gojowczyk or Rudolf Molleker in the second round. 

Eighth seed Richard Gasquet will face 2016 Halle Champion Florian Mayer in the opening round. Gasquet leads their head to head 5-2 but on grass he is tied with the German 1-1. The winner will most probably play Andreas Seppi in the second round.

Seventh seed Kei Nishikori will play a qualifier in the first round and will face Karen Khachanov or Mischa Zverev in the next round. For the fifth time, Robin Haase and Joao Sousa will face each other and for the first time it will be contested on grass. The pair are tied 2-2 and their last meeting was won by Sousa at Auckland in  2017.

The winner of Haase-Sousa match will face Jan-Lennard Struff or Roberto Bautista Agut in the second round. This will be the first time the Spaniard will face Struff on grass. The fourth seed leads 2-0 against the German in their overall record. This section of the draw heavily favours Nishikori and Bautista Agut to clash in the quarter finals. Nishikori leads Bautista Agut 4-1. The Spaniard’s lone victory came at last year’s Wimbledon which was also their only meeting on grass.

Probable semi-finals:

  • Federer vs Thiem
  • Zverev vs Nishikori