Roger Federer to face Nieminen in Gerry Weber Open

The draw for the 18th GERRY WEBER OPEN has provided tournament favourite Roger Federer with an unpredictable opening opponent. The German participants, meanwhile, have almost all tough tasks ahead of them. Philipp Petzschner faces former Halle finalist Marcos Baghdatis.

The five-times GERRY WEBER OPEN champion Roger Federer starts his 2010 title tilt in Halle (Westfalen) against Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen. That is the result of the draw for the main field which took place on Saturday afternoon.

Superstar Federer, who is looking to complete half a dozen victories at the German ATP grass court competition, will then face the winner of a game between a qualifier and Colombia’s Alejandro Falla should he safely negotiate his way into the second round.

If all goes according to plan for the world number one, he could face the Czech Republic’s Radek Stepanek in the quarter-finals, or Germany’s current top player Philipp Kohlschreiber. Stepanek, the technically strong Czech player, and Kohlschreiber both meet in an intriguing first-round clash.

In addition to Federer, there are two other players involved who have previously topped the world rankings: Spain’s Juan Carlos Ferrero and Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt. The latter, who won Wimbledon in 2002.

“These are really interesting matches which guarantee a lot of excitement and drama,” said tournament director Ralf Weber, who drew some of the ties himself. “The top favourites all have manageable tasks.”

However, Weber did not want to bet on a repeat of last year when five Germans stormed their way into the quarter-finals. “That was obviously a major coup and something like that does not happen very often,” he said. “But our professionals have often been able to rise to the occasion here in Halle.”

Date: 05.06.2010, Source: Gerry Weber Open


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