STUTTGART, June 4, 2016
Right with the start of the grass court season, seven times Wimbledon champion Roger Federer will return to the courts at the €675,645 Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart. The world number three, who was forced to withdraw from Roland Garros with a back injury, will be the top-seed of the ATP 250 event held from 4 to 12 June at the Tennis Club Weissenhof.
Tommy Haas and Michael Berrer attended Saturday’s main draw ceremony at the Café Tatti and after a first round bye for the 34-year-old from Switzerland, Federer awaits the winner of the match between US-American NextGen star Taylor Fritz and a qualifier.
In the 28-man-draw, second seed Marin Cilic will take on either Denis Istomin or a qualifier. Roland Garros semi-finalist Dominic Thiem faces the winner of the encounter between big-hitting Sam Groth and Illya Marchenko. The tournament’s number four Gilles Simon takes on either Fürth ATP Challenger finalist Jan-Lennard Struff or Marcos Baghdatis.
There will also take place a couple of interesting first round matches, highlighted by the affair between Juan Martin Del Potro, who was granted a wild card, and Grigor Dimitrov. The pair will meet for the third time with the Argentine leading 2-0 in head to head records. Both previous matches took place on hard courts in 2013.
Local hero Philipp Kohlschreiber will play Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who celebrated his biggest victories in the doubles competition, teaming up with Nicolas Mahut.
Feliciano López, who just captured the doubles title in Roland Garros with fellow Spaniard Marc López, will start his grass court campaign against Russian veteran Mikhail Youzhny.
German wild card and Stuttgart native Michael Berrer will take on Malek Jaziri, who recently suffered from a neck injury, which forced him to retire in the second round of the Franken Challenge in Fürth.