Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will face each other for the 18th time in career in Halle on Thursday. The Swiss leads head to head meetings 11-6, but Tsonga won the most recent match played in 2016 Monte Carlo. The scenario this time will be much more different as Federer is a nine-time tournament winner in Halle on grass.
The all Italian clash between Matteo Berrettini and Andreas Seppi will start the schedule on the Central Court. Berrettini has won the last six matches played on the Tour having triumphed in Stuttgart last week. Richard Gasquet will play against Roberto Bautista Agut, then the local hero Alexander Zverev faces Steve Johnson.
In a press conference Federer spoke about how ATP 250s and 500s work: "Those tournaments need to pay appearance fees. Players go there and do an unbelievable advertisement for tennis, it's well organized and everything but they also make a lot of profits and that should be maybe more shared.
I do not want to say 250s and 500s are my favorite tournaments but I like them a lot. Everything is calmer. I like a lot the Masters 1000s and Grand Slams because they are big events. And I obviously understand the worries for 250s and 500s.
So if we want more money, it needs to come from the Masters 1000s and Grand Slams. Here I do not even know how much the winner takes, if its $500,000. If he earns $500,000 or $420,000. But the goal needs to be that more players could benefit and travel better and have a better life and maybe a better team."