This week’s ATP action at Stuttgart and 's-Hertogenbosch is now well under way and the top seeds at both events will start their grass campaigns today and tomorrow. Stuttgart top seed Federer plays this afternoon against fellow veteran and the oldest active player on the ATP Tour, Tommy Haas (aged 39). Federer leads the head-to-head 13-3 and 5-1 on grass but he has not played since winning the Miami Masters in March and, with Haas having the advantage of a competitive game under his belt, this could be a closer match than the odds suggest.
Fourth seed Pouille gets his campaign underway this afternoon against home hope Struff and the head-to-head stands at 1-1. Struff has the advantage of a competitive game under his belt so he should be competitive at least and I would not be surprised if he caused the upset. Fifth seed Johnson (advised 20/1) plays for the second day in a row against a home hope in the form of 2016 finalist Kohlschreiber and this is the first time they have met on the ATP Tour. Kohlschreiber is the favourite to progress to the quarter finals today and Johnson will have his work cut out to cause an upset. However, he is ranked higher than Kohlschreiber and he proved last year that he’s a decent performer on grass when winning Nottingham.
Second seed Dimitrov (1.3) starts his campaign tomorrow against Janowicz, who has the advantage of a competitive game under his belt and it’s worth opposing the Bulgarian as he struggled to beat Janowicz at Sofia early this year indoors just scraping by 4-6 6-3 7-5. At 's-Hertogenbosch, second seed Zverev has his first match of the tournament today against Mannarino, who has already had a competitive game having won his first round match in straight sets.
Fourth seed and 2016 finalist Muller starts today with a match against Seppi, who won his first round match against qualifier Ito on Monday. The head-to-head stands at 3-3; Muller won the last two on hard courts in 2016 and this year at the Miami Masters and he should prove too strong on his favourite surface today.
Finally, eighth seed Britain’s Aljaz Bedene will get a good chance to progress to the quarter-finals today as he faces American youngster Escobedo who he beat here last year in straight sets.