The ATP circuit with its ongoing grass season has Roger Federer at the core of every debate. After an extended time off during the entire clay court swing, he resumed action last week in Stuttgart at the Mercedes Cup.

The lack of success there when Federer unexpectedly lost to Tommy Haas in the second round puts him in a gray zone. He is now heading to Halle to compete at the Gerry Weber Open in what will be his final ground test for the Wimbledon Championships. With just two weeks left until Wimbledon kicks off, there might be a sense of urgency in Federer's schedule.

He is the top seed in Halle but the trajectory is not that easy as the draw has revealed.

Federer's projected path in Halle

Usually, this ATP 500 event is the place where Federer makes some last -minute corrections to his game just before entering Wimbledon as the gap between these events is only a week. Federer has eight titles under his belt at this particular event with the last success occurring back in 2015.

Last year, his run ended in the semis where was defeated by the new ATP star Alexander Zverev. For 2017, the draw handed Federer a tricky trajectory. In the opening round, he will face Yen Hsun-Lu (68 ATP). The next round could put Mischa Zverev (29 ATP) on the other side of the net while the quarterfinals might put Lucas Pouille in the opponent's shoes.

Pouille was also the winner of 2017 Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart. The Frenchman seems to be on an upward trend especially on grass. Roger Federer's road could get even harder if he reaches the semis where Kei Nishikori (9 ATP) is most likely to emerge based on ranking status only.

The bottom half of the draw is dominated by Dominic Thiem (8 ATP).

The Austrian had quite a run on the clay court and his power-related game seems suitable for the grass court too. After all, he is the only one who managed to beat Nadal since Federer did it in the Miami's final. Thiem and Federer would make a great final match recipe though it's a long run ahead for both of them.

Federer seemed a bit rusty in Stuttgart

His lack of focus of last week seemed a natural one after those two months away from the tennis court. How better a method to get rid of that rust than enjoying the warm-welcoming crowd in Halle and the center court's blades of grass which must feel so familiar for the Swiss champion. To get that mojo back, Roger Federer could use few victories in a row throughout the week.

Despite losing in the early stages in Stuttgart, Federer is still in pole position for Wimbledon. Even last year with all the struggle with the knee and back injuries he was able to reach the semis. Wimbledon is the place where Federer finds his inspiration like Rafael Nadal does with the French Open and Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open.