The Swiss is an eight-time former champion at this ATP World Tour 500 grass-court tournament and goes in one win away from his 1,100th tour-level victory. Federer lifted the trophy in Halle in 2003-06, 2008, 2013-15 and is looking to win his 16th grass-court title.
The 35-year-old Federer opens his campaign against Yen-Hsun Lu and could face Mischa Zverev in the second round; the German left-hander made the semi-finals in Stuttgart (l. to Lopez).
Federer is projected to face sixth seed Lucas Pouille in the quarter-finals, though the sixth-seeded Frenchman faces a tricky opener against 6’5" German Jan-Lennard Struff.
Also in Federer’s half of the draw is third seed Kei Nishikori, who is searching for his first grass-court trophy next week. The Japanese star faces Fernando Verdasco in the first round and is in the same quarter of the draw as Ivo Karlovic, a winner of three grass-court titles.
Dominic Thiem is the second seed. The Austrian is coming off his second straight Roland Garros semi-final (l. to Nadal) and will start his grass-court campaign against either Robin Haase or David Ferrer. The 23-year-old Thiem won his first ATP World Tour grass-court title last year in Stuttgart. He is in the same section of the draw as 39-year-old wild card Tommy Haas and fifth seed Gael Monfils.
#NextGenATP star Alexander Zverev rounds out the top four seeds. The home favourite, who lost today in the ‘s-Hertogebosch semi-finals (l. to Muller), is chasing his fifth ATP World Tour title and first on grass after finishing runner-up to Florian Mayer in the Halle final last year. The 20 year old will meet Paolo Lorenzi in the first round and could face 2011 champion Philipp Kohlschreiber in the second round.