Roger Federer opened his 2013 grass court season with an easy 6-3, 6-3 victory of German Cedrik-Marcel Stebe at Halle today.
“It was straightforward. I was playing with a lead,” said Federer who has more grass wins that any active player. “That’s always very helpful. I’m pleased. There are many things I could have done better but for the first round on grass, first time of the year, it was a pretty good performance.”
The 31-year-old Swiss hasn’t won a title in 10 months, but earlier in the week he vowed good things are ahead.
“I have the feeling that the best part of the season is yet to come,” Federer said. “I do hope that the second half of the season will be better.
“I only draw the balance at the end of the year or after the US Open. Now, I’m fully on the Tour, am fresh and eager, having fun and am happy to play matches instead of being on the practice courts all the time.”
Federer has won Halle five times and today marked his 40th career victory at the tournament.
“Any title is helpful for confidence and for your feeling and in the short term clearly winning is always the best solution,” added Federer today. “But that’s kind of where I feel I’ve put myself into that, have given myself the best opportunity to do well in Halle and in Wimbledon. So, I’ll try my very best like I usually do. But I feel that I definitely have better chances here.”
In other results, acrobatic Gael Monfils advanced to the quarterfinals beating Jan Hernych. Afterward, the Frenchman revealed that he won’t play Wimbledon. Because of a poor ranking a few months ago, Monfils didn’t make the main draw and he won’t play qualification nor accept a wildcard, he said.
Mischa Zverev and Mikhail Youzhny who beat Kei Nishikori were also winners.
In Queen’s, Andy Murray’s debut was cut short by a rain storm. Murray, who skipped the French Open to rest back injury, was leading Nicolas Mahut 6-3, 2-2 when the skies opened up postponing play until Thursday.
Earlier, former Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt taught youngster Grigor Dimitrov the fine art of grass play, defeating the 22-year-old 6-4, 6-3.
“[Today's victory] is going to help me immensely,” said Hewitt. “I feel like in practice, I have been hitting the ball great. It was just a matter of doing it on the match court. My first match here (three sets against Michael Russell) wasn’t pretty, but I fought hard and got through it. That’s what I needed to do. Then today it was a classy performance.”
Hewitt will meet Sam Querrey tomorrow.
Tomas Berdych, Marin Cilic and Aleksandr Dolgoplov joined Hewitt win victories on the day.
On Thursday, along with Murray, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Juan Martin Del Potro and Cilci are scheduled while in Halle the marquee match features Tommy Haas against Ernests Gulbis.
QUEEN’S CLUB THURSDAY SCHEDULE
CENTRE start 11:00 am
 J Tsonga (FRA) vs E Roger-Vasselin (FRA)
 A Murray (GBR) vs N Mahut (FRA) 63 22
[WC] D Evans (GBR) vs  J Del Potro (ARG)
 J Tsonga (FRA) or E Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs I Sijsling (NED) or  D Istomin (UZB) – Possible Court Change
 A Murray (GBR) or N Mahut (FRA) vs M Matosevic (AUS)
 B Bryan (USA) / M Bryan (USA) vs [WC] L Hewitt (AUS) / B Tomic (AUS) or X Malisse (BEL) / R Ram (USA) – TBA
HALLE THURSDAY SCHEDULE
STADIUM start 12:00 noon
 P Kohlschreiber (GER) vs T Kamke (GER)
J Melzer (AUT) vs  R Gasquet (FRA)
 F Mayer (GER) vs L Mayer (ARG)
Not Before 5:30 PM
 T Haas (GER) vs E Gulbis (LAT)
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