Record champion Roger Federer (37/ATP 3) has a difficult task in his first match at the 27th NOVENTI OPEN. In the draw of the main field on Saturday the Australian John Millman (ATP 56) was drawn as opponent for the nine-time winner of the ATP 500er competition. Millmann had caused a sensation at the US Open 2018, when he defeated the Swiss world star in the second round. When compared directly however, the score is 1:1 between Federer and Millman, Federer won the first personal duel in Brisbane four and a half years ago. In the latest French Open the 29-year-old Millman had put up hard five-round sets to German tennis star Alexander Zverev and was then defeated.
Zverev (22/ATP 5), the no. 2 seeded at Germanys most important ATP-tournament, will play Robin Haase (ATP 56) from the Netherlands in his first match. Head-to-Head, Zverev is just in the lead 3:2, he won the last match in Basel in Autumn 2018. “These are challenging, but solvable tasks for Roger and Sascha”, tournament director Ralf Weber said. The French Open Doubles winners Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies played fate for their colleagues and were cheered on by the tennis fans in front of the stage. “It’s crazy what is going on at the moment”, Krawietz said. “But it’s positive stress, too.” They were still “trying to get to grips with realizing it all”, explained Mies.
Local hero Jan-Lennard Struff (ATP 38), who is playing his best season in his career 2019, will meet the Serb Laslo Djere (ATP 27) in his first round. Struff had shortly convinced by reaching the Semis at the ATP grass tournament in Stuttgart. Philipp Kohlschreiber (ATP 51), who is a routine player in Halle, will meet the American Steve Johnson (ATP 78), the German top talent Rudolf Molleker (ATP 149) still awaits his first opponent from the qualifiers. Wild Card starter Peter Gojowczyk (ATP 120) will player one of the four French players, Richard Gasquet (ATP 42).
The surprise champion from last year, the 22-year-old Croatian Borna Coric (ATP 14) will start his mission to defend the title against Jaume Munar (ATP 74) from Spain. The no. 4 seeded Russian Karen Khachanov (ATP 9), starts off against Damir Dzumhur (Bosnia-Herzegovina/ATP 63). Roger Federer’s way to a possibly tenth title is tricky, even if he gets a successful start against Millman. In the second round the winner of the all-French duel between ex top-ten Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (ATP 79) and Benoit Paire (ATP 28), who is in strong form, await the “Maestro”.
First-round cracker in the Doubles competition, too at the 27th NOVENTI OPEN: The new French Open champions Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies (ATP Double 21/22) meet the newly formed duo Dustin Brown/Tim Pütz (ATP Double 175/59) in an all-German first match. In another first encounter there will also be three Germans on the court: Brothers Alexander and Mischa Zverev (ATP 76/65) meet world-class Ben McLachlan/Jan-Lennard Struff (ATP Double 35/41). The winners of these two first-round matches will then play against one another in the quarter-finals of the field.
The top-seeded duo, Lukasz Kubot (ATP Double 2) from Poland and Marcelo Melo (ATP Double 4) from Brazil, will face Wesley Koolhoof (ATP Double 26) and Matwe Middelkoop (ATP 44), a combination from the Netherlands. Kubot und Melo are the reigning title defenders in HalleWestfalen