The draw for the ATP Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart is out and boy we are in for a treat! We already knew it would be special thanks to a certain Mr Federer, but the draw is bringing mouthwatering tennis at every round.
No easy ride for Federer
If Federer is going to continue his fairytale 2017 by winning his first grass tournament of the year, he is going to have to do it the hard way. With a Bye into round two, Federer will open his campaign against either Pierre-Hughes Herbert or… Tommy Haas. If the prospect of Federer facing home favourite Haas isn’t enough, the Swiss could face another German in the Quarter Finals in Mischa Zverev.
Federer and Zverev had a good battle in Australia earlier in the year, and the German’s serve and volley tactic could trouble Federer on grass. The winner of that tie is likely to face Tomas Berdych, who will be wanting to put a poor Roland Garros behind him. Gilles Simon is the other seeded player in Berdych’s quarter and shouldn’t be overlooked.
Dimitrov looking to make his mark on grass
It’s hard to believe that Grigor Dimitrov’s run to the Semi Finals at Wimbledon was three years ago! After a rough couple of year’s, it seems the Bulgarian is back to his best form and will be looking at the grass season as an opportunity to add to his collection of titles this year.
Like Federer, Dimitrov faces a tricky route to the final. In the second round, he could face either Andrey Kuznetsov or former Wimbledon semi finalist Jerzy Janowicz. With the likes of Viktor Troicki, Steve Johnson and last year’s finalist Philipp Kohlschreiber potentially awaiting the Bulgarian number one, I think Dimitrov will struggle to make the final.
Of course, we aren’t forgetting Lucas Pouille, who is the fourth seed and in Grigor’s half. Making the Quarter Finals at Wimbledon last year, Pouille has had a good year so far and enjoyed his best Roland Garros campaign, losing to clay specialist Ramos-Vinolas in the third round. A Pouille-Dimitrov semi final would be a treat, but is it going to happen?
It’s hard to look past Roger Federer adding to his 2017 haul, especially given the fact he has not played in two months and should be fresh. As to who I think he’ll play in the final, I’m going to go for German Philipp Kohlschreiber, who has a good record on the grass.
Whatever happens, it’s going to be a fascinating week of tennis in the German city! Whet your appetite and just look at that draw!