The 2017 edition of the Gerry Weber Open contains the drama of seeing Roger Federer make the push toward Wimbledon. Federer won’t be in a state of crisis if he loses early in Halle, but he probably needs to get a few matches under his belt in order to feel reasonably confident.
The competition in the 32-player main draw began on Monday, June 19.
Event: Gerry Weber Open
Category: ATP World Tour – 500 Series
Date: June 19 -25, 2017
Location: Gerry Weber Stadion – Halle, Germany
With a prize money allotment of 1.836 million Euros, the 500-point tournament is a destination spot on the ATP calendar. Halle is not in England, but the quality of the field is substantial enough to represent a legitimate challenge for the seeded players in this tournament. It is a legitimate Wimbledon warm-up on several levels. If anything, Halle might be a better grass test than Queen’s Club for a counterintuitive reason: The grass in Halle is generally less stable than Queen’s. Players get a lot more bad bounces in the latter stages of the tournament from the worn-out grass near the baseline. Being accustomed to bad bounces enables a player to appreciate the needs of a successful grass-court strategy: Attacking on points, getting in the first blow, putting the opponent under pressure, leaving less to chance.
Champion – 500
Runner-up – 300
Semifinal – 180
Quarterfinal – 90
Round of 16 – 45
Former Champions and Results (5 Years)
Year Champion Runner-up Score
2016 – Florian Mayer def. Alexander Zverev – 6-2, 5-7, 6-3
2015 – Roger Federer def. Andreas Seppi – 7-6, 6-4
2014 – Roger Federer def. Alejandro Falla – 7-6, 7-6
2013 – Roger Federer def. Mikhail Youzhny – 6-7, 6-3, 6-4
2012 – Tommy Haas def. Roger Federer – 7-6, 6-4
With four top-10 players in the field plus Gael Monfils and Lucas Pouille, Halle has never looked so strong and competitive. The deeper the field, the more enticing the matches, and more enjoyment to the spectators. Roger Federer will be the showstopper as always but the young German Alexander Zverev can steal the thunder.
Contesting his first match after a two-month lay-off against 39-year-old Tommy Haas, Roger Federer squandered a break lead and a match point before losing 2-6 7-6 (10-8), 6-4. The defeat is only Federer’s second of the season. Federer, 35, had three match points against World No. 116 Evgeny Donskoy during the second round of Dubai in February but lost that match in a strange manner. The Swiss Maestro next plays in Halle, where he has won three times in the last five years. He plays on grass like nobody does and knows the conditions in Germany better than anyone else. Federer may have come up short in Stuttgart but don’t expect such a blip from him in Halle, where he has regularly done well.
Dominic Thiem hardly made any mistakes on his way to a second Roland Garros semifinal, but he failed to produce great tennis against Rafa Nadal on the big day. Thiem’s heavy hitting from both wings helped him thrash Novak Djokovic in the quarterfinals, but it wasn’t just enough against Nadal, who lost just seven games in that one-sided semifinal. Overall, the Austrian had an excellent clay-court season but he’ll want to continue his good run of form. Grass will altogether be a different challenge but Thiem has won a title on the lawns before and he’ll look to replicate that in Halle.
Kei Nishikori appeared to be in good touch in the first set of the Roland Garros quarterfinals against Andy Murray, but completely lost the plot when he played an erratic third set tiebreaker, where he failed to win a single point. Still, Nishikori should consider the quarterfinals as a good result given he was expected to lose early. The tennis season moves to grass, where Nishikori looks most vulnerable. A run to the finals cannot be ruled out but to win the title, he’ll have to play above standard.
Alexander Zverev came into the French Open with a confidence-boosting title in Rome but was shocked in the second round by red-hot Fernando Verdasco. Zverev may have lost earlier than expected but he is still a hot property. The tall German is ranked 10th in the world and is rapidly progressing. However, this is where it gets difficult. Zverev will have to produce consistent results to prolong his stay in the top 10.
Last year, he beat Roger Federer in the semifinals but was brought down to earth by Florian Mayer in the finals in Halle. Can he go one better this year?
Gerry Weber Stadion
The facilities in Halle are state of the art. The main stadium court for the Gerry Weber Open is a 12,300-seat multi-deck stadium with a retractable roof which can close within 90 seconds to facilitate minimal interruptions of play.
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