Thursday, June 09, 2016

Roger Federer makes winning return on grass at Mercedes Open in Stuttgart

Wearing the outfit he didn't get to wear at Roland Garros :)

Roger Federer Tumblr

Top seed Roger Federer got off to a winning start on his Mercedes Cup debut when he defeated 18-year-old Next Generation star Taylor Fritz 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 for a quarter-final clash against Florian Mayer.

"It wasn't easy," said Federer. "I thought Fritz had some good moments there. He gained control of the baseline, he had a little bit of an upper-hand at times. He served well and I was a little bit cautious, unsure of how to move and questioning my defence. These are the things I will need to iron out.

"I can take a lot of confidence out of this match. I need to improve a few things, but I served big and I was able to handle three sets over two days, and find some energy at the end of the match. I know I have an extra gear. My next goal is to stretch leads - once I get a lead, I need to know that I can protect it then take the next step."

The match resumed on Thursday with Federer leading Fritz 4-3 in the first set, following a rain suspension overnight. Fritz, who had previously played two Top 10 players, converted his fourth set point opportunity in the 12th game of the second set.

"It's always disappointing to take a loss, when you've come close and you've definitely had chances in the match," said Fritz. "I played great and if you'd told me before that I would have taken a set off Federer, I would have been happy."

Federer, who is playing his first match since an Internazionali BNL d'Italia third-round exit to Dominic Thiem on 12 May, has now drawn level with Ivan Lendl on 1,071 victories, for the second-most match wins in the Open Era (since May 1968). Jimmy Connors is the overall leader with 1,256 victories.

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