Halle, Germany – Long-time German crowd favorite Tommy Haas was an easy first-round winner, while seventh-seeded Andreas Seppi of Italy was an upset victim Tuesday at the $835,000 Gerry Weber Open, a grass-court Wimbledon tuneup.
The wild card former world No. 2 Haas was leading Bernard Tomic 5-2 in the first set when the Aussie retired due to an abdominal disorder at Gerry Weber Stadium. The oft-injured Haas captured the Halle title in 2009.
Meanwhile, Czech veteran Radek Stepanek upended the rising Seppi 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 7-6 (9-7), while sixth-seeded Spaniard Marcel Granollers avoided an upset by drilling lefthanded German qualifier Mischa Zverev 6-4, 6-2.
In other opening-round action, German Florian Mayer handled American qualifier Tim Smyczek 6-4, 6-4, Slovak Lukas Lacko overcame Russian qualifier Konstantin Kravchuk 2-6, 6-2, 6-3, and Serb Viktor Troicki dismissed Germany's Benjamin Becker 6-2, 7-6 (8-6).
This week's top seeds are seven-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal, five-time Halle titlist Roger Federer, who was also a runner-up here in 2010, and 2007 Gerry Weber titlist and 2006 runner-up Tomas Berdych. Nadal will face Lacko in his opener, while Federer will take on Mayer and the former Wimbledon runner-up Berdych will battle Troicki.
Nadal, Federer and Berdych enjoyed opening-round byes.
The great Halle champion Federer had a street named after him here, as Roger- Federer-Allee was unveiled on Monday.
The 2012 Halle champion will collect $150,000.