Whilst the likes of Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga choose to hone their Wimbledon preparations at the Queen’s Club, Roger Federer has always favoured a small town in northern Germany.
The seven-time Wimbledon champion’s Gerry Weber Open semi-final victory over Tommy Haas in three sets on Saturday put him into an eighth final of the tournament in the past 11 years, and made amends for last year’s loss in the final to the same opponent.
Those looking to back Federer at 6/1 for a record-breaking eighth SW19 title will be pleased to know that the Swiss maestro’s displays in Halle have often had a large say on how he does in south-west London.
On six of the seven previous occasions that Federer has reached the final at Halle – where this year he’ll face Mikhail Youzhny following the Russian’s semi-final win over Richard Gasquet in straight sets – the former world No. 1 has gone on to make the final at Wimbledon, winning five of them.
Given that Federer has beaten Youzhny on all of the 14 occasions he’s faced him, including six times on grass and once in the Halle semi-final last year, it is safe to assume that the Swiss will be feeling confident ahead of the prospect of winning his first tournament of the season.
His second could well come at the All England Club, and with Ladbrokes offering money back on losing Men’s Championships outright bets if home favourite Murray triumphs at 3/1, then Federer could well be the man to follow.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic currently leads the market at 13/8, but with only one Wimbledon crown to his name then he could find the pressure of facing Federer and co. too tough, whilst the 11/4 Rafael Nadal enters the tournament no doubt remembering his shock second round defeat to the Czech Lukas Rosol last year.
Those uncertainties plus the confidence that Federer will have picked up again in Halle could spell glory for the defending champion.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publication