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Haas, Federer In Halle Half; Rafa Withdraws

Halle, Germany

Haas© AFP/Getty ImagesTommy Haas has won the Halle title in 2009 and 2012.

Defending champion Tommy Haas has been drawn in the same half as top seed Roger Federer at the Gerry Weber Open, while Rafael Nadal has announced his withdrawal from the ATP World Tour 250 tournament on doctors' advice due to his tough Roland Garros campaign the past two weeks.

Last year, Haas captured his second Halle title with victory over Roger Federer in the final. The pair could meet in the semi-finals. Haas and Federer have also decided to team up in the doubles competition and will face former Wimbledon champions Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner in the first round.

Other mouth watering first-round singles matches include Milos Raonic versus Gael Monfils and Marcos Baghdatis challenging Ernests Gulbis.

Haas is among five German singles winners since the inaugural event in 1993, including Michael Stich (1994), Nicolas Kiefer (1999), David Prinosil (2000), Haas (2009 & 2012) and Philipp Kohlschreiber (2011).

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Haas is the fourth seed at the Gerry Weber Open, behind Federer, Richard Gasquet and Raonic. Weber confirmed that "Tommy has also set himself a clear goal: he wants to defend his title.”

World No. 142 Mischa Zverev, the 2009-2010 Halle quarter-finalist, is one of three wild cards in the draw. “I’m delighted to have received a wild card,” said Zverev. “I always like playing in Halle.”

Top seeds and defending doubles champions Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi and Jean-Julien Rojer meet youngsters Kei Nishikori and Raonic in another interesting first round doubles.

Nadal withdrew from the grass-court tournament on the recommendation of his doctors.

“My doctors have recommended to rest after Roland Garros and begins my preparation to play on grass courts after a few days rest,” said Nadal in a statement. “I am very sorry for my fans in Germany and in particular in Halle, since the welcome I always had there was amazing. Last year, the organisers made me feel very special. I hope I can return to play some time soon.”

Tournament Director Ralf Weber said, “It is a shame and regrettable that Rafael cannot come, but I can understand his decision. I know that it was not an easy one to take, but the player’s health comes first.” 

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