Roger Federer will make his long-awaited return to the ATP World Tour next week at the Mercedes Cup, but the Swiss star faces a tough draw in Stuttgart.
The 97-time tour-level titlist, competing for the first time since March's Miami Open presented by Itaú, could open his campaign against serve-and-volley specialist Mischa Zverev, before potentially meeting #NextGenATP Canadian Denis Shapovalov, the No. 6 seed, in the quarter-finals, which would be their first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting.
World No. 25 Shapovalov enjoyed a successful clay-court season, which included a run to the Mutua Madrid Open semi-finals, and would present a tough challenge for Federer, who is seeking his first title on the grass courts in Stuttgart. Federer owns a 2-2 record at the event, reaching the semi-finals on his debut in 2016 (l. to Thiem) before a surprising opening-match defeat to Tommy Haas in 2017.
Also in Federer's half of the draw is fellow returnee Nick Kyrgios, Roland Garros breakthrough star Maximilian Marterer and 2017 finalist Feliciano Lopez.
Headlining the bottom half of the draw is 2017 champion Lucas Pouille. The Frenchman, seeded No. 2 in the draw, could meet home favourite Philipp Kohlschreiber in the last eight, while former Wimbledon finalists Milos Raonic and Tomas Berdych could wait in the semi-finals.