Brands defeated Paolo Lorenzi 7-5, 6-3 while losing 12 points over his 10 games serving. He was able to finish off three of his 10 break opportunities.
That put him in the second round and Federer, the world No. 5. It will be the first time the two have played each other. Federer and the other top 16 seeds had first-round byes in the tournament.
Tobias Kamke ran over Lukas Rosol 6-3, 6-0. He saved five break points in the first set and then took 72 percent of the second-set points, allowing Rosol just three points on serve.
Roberto Bautista-Agut topped Alexander Zverev 6-3, 6-2 and Florian Mayer stopped Nikolay Davydenko 6-1, 6-3 in other first-round matches. Also Monday, Albert Montanes got by Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4, 6-4 and Jan Hajek rolled past Lukasz Kubot 6-3, 6-2.
The formal name of the tournament is the bet-at-home Open-German Tennis Championships.