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Mercedes Cup 2018: Roger Federer reaches semis in Stuttgart, one win away from reclaiming World No. 1

Sagnik Kundu
784   //    15 Jun 2018, 20:45 IST

Roger Federer

What's the story?

World number 2 and the top seed Roger Federer went through to the semifinals at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart, Germany on Friday as he registered a commanding 6-4 6-4 triumph over World No. 75 Guido Pella.

The win brings him one step closer to reclaiming the World No. 1 rank from arch-rival Rafael Nadal. If Federer manages to make it to the final, he will become the numero uno come Monday.

In case you didn't know...

After a transient hiatus during the clay court season, Federer returned to court this week in Stuttgart, Germany. The hiatus was similar to the one he took last year which eventually resulted in him winning Wimbledon.

The 20-time Grand Slam winner had crashed out in the first round at this tournament, which serves as a warm-up event ahead of the Wimbledon, last year when he lost to Tommy Haas. But this year, he is looking to make amends and go all the way.

The heart of the matter

In February, Federer had become the oldest World No. 1 after he beat Robin Haase in the World Tennis Tournament quarter-finals in Rotterdam. It was the first time that he held the top ranking in over five years. However, as the clay season began, Nadal climbed back to the top (dropping once after losing in Madrid).

However, with the Spaniard giving the Mercedes Cup a miss and then, withdrawing from the Fever-Tree Championships at the Queen's Club, Federer, trailing Nadal by just 100 points entering the week, was handed a chance of reclaiming the position.

Aand against Pella, the 36-year-old was clinical as he lost just 12 points on serve through the match. The Swiss showed his prowess on grass, swooping to the net with swift aplomb on more than a few occasions and terrifying the left-handed Pella.

What's next?

Federer will next face the winner of the match between the talented Aussie Nick Kyrgios and 2017 Fever-Tree Championships winner Feliciano Lopez.

He can push for the number one seed at Wimbledon in July if he manages to win in Stuttgart on Sunday, then follow it up with another title in Halle next week. A top seeding will indeed give him much more confidence as he will be looking to add one more Slam to his kitty.

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Sagnik Kundu
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