After clinching his 1,100th ATP Tour win at the Gerry Weber Open on Tuesday, Roger Federer said that such landmark moments have become of greater significance to him.
Federer cruised past lucky loser Yuichi Sugita 6-3 6-1 in the first round, providing the perfect response to a shock defeat against Tommy Haas in Stuttgart last week.
Only Jimmy Connors has accumulated more Tour-level wins than the Swiss with 1,256, and the 18-time major winner – whose second-round opponent will be Mischa Zverev, a 6-4 6-4 winner against Lukas Lacko – is looking forward to adding to his tally.
"It [the milestone] was mentioned in Stuttgart but I had forgotten about it. I appreciate these numbers way more than ever before. I think I can embrace them more," said Federer, who is considered a top contender for an eighth Wimbledon title one month before he turns 36.
"It's a big number and I'm very happy to have a chance to hopefully add some more wins to that number.
"I played some good tennis, some nice points. I played the way I wanted to play: aggressive, took charge from the baseline and served well. Overall, I'm very happy.
"I had never played him. And playing against me, all are always very motivated. That doesn't make it easy. But I'm very satisfied. That was a good start into the Gerry Weber Open."
Third seed Kei Nishikori came up against Fernando Verdasco for the third time in 2017 and maintained his 100 per cent record against the Spaniard, coming from a set down to win 6-7 (7-9) 6-3 6-4.
Alexander Zverev found things more routine as he easily saw off Paolo Lorenzi 6-3 6-2 to set up a meeting with 2011 champion Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Robin Haase faces a second-round clash with Dominic Thiem after downing David Ferrer 3-6 7-5 6-3, while there were also wins for Roberto Bautista Agut, Bernard Tomic and Lucas Pouille.
Ivo Karlovic fell to Mikhail Youzhny in straight sets as Florian Mayer and Karen Khachanov also advanced.Published 21 Jun 2017, 01:57 IST