The ATP returns the tennis action back to clay as the men battle for the bet-at-home Open—German Tennis Championships.
This event does not boast the most star-studded field, but it does contain the great Roger Federer. After making an uncharacteristically early exit from Wimbledon, Federer decided he'd make the trip to Hamburg for this event, which the ATPWorldTour.com discusses here.
Federer's inclusion instantly cranked up the profile for this year's event. He'd skipped it each of the past five years, and he has a great chance to take his fifth title in Hamburg.
However, it certainly won't be a walk in the park. Take a look at the vitals for this event, and then I'll spotlight three of the top contenders.
Event: bet-at-home Open—German Tennis Championship
Category: ATP World Tour 500
Location: Hamburg, Germany
Dates: July 15-July 21
Draw and order of play can be found at ATPWorldTour.com.
The Tennis Channel offers extensive coverage of the event, beginning with the Round of 16 at 5 a.m. ET on Thursday, July 18, and concluding with the final, which is scheduled for 9 a.m. ET on July 21.
Thursday, July 18
|5 a.m.||Hamburg-ATP : Round of 16 (LIVE)|
|6 a.m.||Hamburg-ATP : Round of 16 (LIVE)|
|7 a.m.||Hamburg-ATP : Round of 16 (LIVE)|
|9 a.m.||Hamburg-ATP : Round of 16 (LIVE)|
|11 a.m.||Hamburg-ATP : Round of 16 (LIVE)|
|1 p.m.||Hamburg-ATP : Round of 16 (LIVE)|
Friday, July 19
|6 a.m.||Hamburg-ATP : Quarterfinal 1 (LIVE)|
|8 a.m.||Hamburg-ATP : Quarterfinal 2 (LIVE)|
|10 a.m.||Hamburg-ATP : Quarterfinal 3 (LIVE)|
|Noon||Hamburg-ATP : Quarterfinal 4 (LIVE)|
Saturday, July 20
|6 a.m.||Hamburg-ATP : Semifinal 1 (LIVE)|
|8:30 AM||Hamburg-ATP : Semifinal 2 (LIVE)|
Sunday, July 21
9 a.m. Hamburg-ATP : Final (LIVE)
Check out the full schedule for the Tennis Channel.
Live Stream: TennisTV.com (subscription required)
After bowing out in just the second round at Wimbledon, Federer is anxious to get his game back on track and prove it is too early to start writing him off as an elite player.
It is still curious to me that he chose to play this clay-court event, considering the approaching U.S. Open will be played on hard court. However, he can work on his stroke on any surface.
Clay is Federer's worst surface, but his worst surface is still a dream for mortal tennis players.
Federer had a decent showing on the clay at Roland Garros earlier in the year when he was knocked out in the quarterfinals, and he is the clear class of this field. I would be surprised if he didn't at least make the final.
While people have been quick to write Federer off because of his age (31), Tommy Haas is having a hard time figuring out what all the fuss is about. He is 35 and he is in the midst of a career resurgence.
He is 30-12 on the year and has a tournament victory under his belt.
He also had a nice run at this event last year when he made it to the final.
Haas has been comfortable on clay this year, and he made it to the quarterfinals of the French Open before bowing out to Novak Djokovic. Haas will not be an easy out at this tournament, and he has a solid shot of picking up his second win of the year.
Juan Monaco is the defending champion of this event, and he will be anxious to make it two in a row. However, Monaco is not having the greatest of years. He is just 17-15 on the season, but he does have a tournament win, which happened to come in Germany.
Monaco, the world's 20th-ranked player, is comfortable on these courts, and that should instill some confidence in him.
He has the tools to make a deep run, and with a slim pool of talent in front of him, he has a nice chance to defend his crown.