U.S. tennis commentator John McEnroe almost seemed to goad French Open champ Roger Federer into skipping this week’s Gerry Weber Open on the grasscourts at Halle during his post-match interview at Roland Garros. It remains to be seen whether the Swiss turns up in Germany, or turns a doctor’s note into the ATP claiming “exhaustion.”
Federer is the defending champion at the Gerry Weber Open, claiming the title in five of the last six years, withdrawing from the 2007 event.
Joining the top-seeded Swiss among the elite are Novak Djokovic, Fernando Verdasco, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 2007 champ Tomas Berdych, Dmitry Tursunov, Jurgen Melzer and homecountry hope Rainer Schuettler.
Federer would open against a qualifier, then face the winner of Belgian Christophe Rochus and German Andreas Beck.
Early-round matches of interest are (4) Tsonga vs. Fabrice “The Magician” Santoro, winner to potentially face wildcard Tommy Haas; and (7) Melzer vs. the German Nicolas Kiefer second round.
Wildcards went to Haas, and Germans Mischa Zverev and Benjamin Becker.
Halle and then Wimbledon could be a big opportunity for the world No. 2 Swiss to gain on the world No. 1 Rafael Nadal, whose grasscourt season is in doubt with an injured knee.
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