Eight-time champion Roger Federer bounced back in style from his Stuttgart semi-final loss to enter the second round of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany on Wednesday. The top seed beat German wild card Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 7-6(3) to record his 52nd victory at this event – the most wins by a player in the history of the tennis tournament.
The Swiss maestro will next face Tunisian Malek Jaziri for a place in the quarter-finals.
Federer’s last week’s conqueror Dominic Thiem, who went on to win the Stuttgart title, also progressed. The 22-year-old Austrian surged to a Tour-leading 46th win of the season when he prevailed 7-5, 6-4 over the 30th ranked Joao Sousa.
The third-seeded Thiem, who has achieved glory on every surface this season, is looking to win his fifth title this year.
Another talented youngster was also among the winners. 19-year-old Alexander Zverev, one of the fastest-rising stars on the circuit, entered the quarter-finals when his compatriot Benjamin Becker retired due to a back injury while trailing 5-7, 0-3.
The young gun showed a lot of resilience by clawing his way back from 0-4 in the first set. He will next square off against the 2007 runner-up Marcos Baghdatis.
Last week’s Stuttgart finalist and 2011 Halle winner Philipp Kohlschreiber also made it through to the second round.
The Gerry Weber Open lost a big star on Wednesday when the second seed and former semi-finalist Kei Nishikori withdrew owing to a rib injury. That gave a walkover to Florian Mayer, who advanced to the quarter-finals.
Raonic beats Kyrgios at Queen’s
At the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club, London, third seed Milos Raonic emerged victorious 6(5)-7, 6-4, 6-4 over Nick Kyrgios in a first round match that got suspended on Tuesday due to rain and darkness. Seventh-seeded John Isner joined him in Round 2 courtesy of a 7-6(2), 6-4 victory over former Wimbledon semi-finalist Juan Martin del Potro.
Isner thundered 25 aces for the win in 1 hour 45 minutes.
But it was curtains down for the eighth seed Gilles Simon, who fell 4-6, 6-3, 1-6 to 21-year-old British wildcard Kyle Edmund.