Roger Federer began his bid for a 10th Halle title in great form cruising past Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 6-4. The Stuttgart champion improved his grass win streak to 17.
“I think I got out of the blocks well,” Federer said. “I felt good right away. You know, it’s a bit of an easier court to play here in Halle than last week in Stuttgart. It’ a bit harder, so the ball bounces up a bit more. So, I felt like it was nicely in my strike zone and I was connecting well on the return right away and being able to also read maybe better the serve quite well and then after a while that kind of went away.”
Federer gets a day off before returning Thursday to face Benoit Paire.
Federer’s main rival at the event was stunned. No. 2 seed Alexander Zverev was upset but Borna Coric 6-1, 6-4. Coric has now won three of four against the German who was coming off a leg injury at the French Open.
“There is not a lot to analyze about this match,” Zverev said. “I only trained once on grass beforehand and played one doubles match. I probably had the most difficult draw in the first round. Now I just have to train. Before the match, I tried to think about always feeling good here in Halle on the Centre Court. But that was completely different today.
“The most important thing is for sure, that I didn’t get any problems with my hamstring. That was all good.”
Zverev elder brother also lost as Mischa fell to Karen Khachanov. Also, fresh off a title Sunday, Richard Gasquet fell to Florian Mayer. Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Lucas Pouille.
On Wednesday, Khachanov returns to take on Kei Nishikori and Dominic Thiem is also in action.
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