Federer to lead strong field for Wimbledon warm-up

BERLIN: Five-times champion Roger Federer is set to lead a strongest-ever field at Halle's ATP tournament, one of the traditional warm-up events before Wimbledon, which starts on June 8.

Both world number-two Federer and Novak Djokovic, who will lose his place as third in the world rankings to Briton Andy Murray next Monday, will be at Halle, near Bielefeld, while Spain's Fernando Verdasco and France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga mean four of the world's top ten will compete.

"This will be the strongest field we have had," tournament director Ralf Weber told a press conference on Tuesday ahead of the grass-court event.

Federer is the undisputed king of Halle having captured his fifth title last year with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over German Philipp Kohlschreiber.

The 27-year-old has a perfect record in Halle having won an incredible 25 consecutive matches after also capturing four straight titles from 2003-06 - only injury in 2007 prevented him from competing two years ago.

"It is him against the rest of the world," added Weber.