Federer To Face Early Test In Doha
The 20-time Grand Slam champion, who underwent two right knee surgeries last year, will face in-form Frenchman Jeremy Chardy or recent Murray River Open champion Daniel Evans in his return match. Chardy, who pushed Andrey Rublev to three sets in Rotterdam on Friday, has already reached two semi-finals this year and Evans climbed to a career-high No. 26 in the FedEx ATP Rankings last month.
Federer will be making his first appearance in Doha since 2012. The Swiss owns a 26-3 record at the ATP 250, highlighted by title runs in 2005, 2006 and 2011. If he can overcome Chardy or Evans in his first match, he could face eighth seed Borna Coric in the quarter-finals. Coric also has form on his side. The Croat has claimed three straight-sets wins en route to the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament semi-finals in Rotterdam this week.
Top seed Dominic Thiem could also face a tough test in his first match of the tournament. The US Open champion will meet Australian Open semi-finalist Aslan Karatsev or Qatar’s Mubarak Shannan Zayid. The 2018 semi-finalist is joined in the top quarter of the draw by fifth seed Roberto Bautista Agut, in-form Kazakhstani Alexander Bublik and Reilly Opelka.
Defending champion Andrey Rublev could meet a fellow Doha titlist in his first match. The Russian will face 2013 winner Richard Gasquet or a qualifier in his tournament opener. Rublev headlines the second quarter of the draw with 2008 runner-up and seventh seed Stan Wawrinka.
Fourth seed Denis Shapovalov and sixth seed David Goffin will compete in the third quarter of the draw. Shapovalov will face countryman Vasek Pospisil or a qualifier in his opening match, while Goffin will begin his third appearance at the ATP 250 against Filip Krajinovic of Serbia.