The ATP Halle, or Gerry Weber Open as it is also known, is one of the two primary grass court tournaments that the world’s top players use to warm-up for Wimbledon. It is held in Germany but, though home favourites Phillip Kohlschreiber and Tommy Haas have both won the tournament, it is Roger Federer who has dominated the event, winning it 8 times since 2003.
In the absence of Djokovic and Murray, Federer is seeded number one this year, and is a best-priced 9/4 to win his 9th title here, which would notch-up a four-timer after winning it from 2013 to 2015. Meanwhile, second seed Kei Nishikori is the 9/2 second favourite, with Berdych at 9/1, Thiem at 12/1 and Kohlschreiber at 14/1.
In the first-quarter Federer, who hasn’t been at his best of late, looks to have an easy run to the quarter-finals where he’s likely to meet Goffin or Coric, and he’ll be hopeful of beating either of those on his favoured grass courts.
Tomas Berdych may not have won here since 2007, but he looks to have a great chance of making it to the semi-finals from the second-quarter, though ever-improving German youngster Alexander Zverev will be trying his hardest if he makes it to the quarter-final.
In the third quarter Dominic Thiem, the latest player to beat Federer, is seeded number three and will be fancied to continue his great recent form, though there’s a chance of a rematch from this week’s Stuttgart final with Phillip Kohlschreiber – who may well rise to the challenge in front of his home fans.
The fourth-quarter is seeded to produce a quarter-final between David Ferrer and Kei Nishikori, though the out-of-form Spaniard will have to overcome last year’s runner-up Andreas Seppi in his opening game. However, though Seppi made the final last year, he was fortunate that Nishikori had to retire in their semi-final.
Federer has such an impressive record against Berdych that he’s fancied to make it through to another final. Meanwhile, Nishikori has yet to drop a set to either Kohlschreiber or Thiem, and his last 4 defeats have been against an inspired Gasquet, Djokovic (twice) and Nadal, so he’s fancied to also make the final. Federer’s recent injuries may also make him vulnerable to another high-class opponent – with the most likely candidate being Nishikori – and an each-way bet on Nishikori looks the percentage play.