ATP Gerry Weber Open Tennis Tournament:Federer struggles but wins in Halle

HALLE WESTFALEN: Roger Federer got his Wimbledon preparations fully underway on the grasscourts of Halle on Thursday, but he looked out of sorts before finally edging Portugal’s Joao Sousa 6-7, (8/10), 6-4, 6-2 in a second round tie. Playing for the first time since losing to Ernests Gulbis in the last 16 of the French Open, the six-time former winner of the German tournament started brightly but was soon on the backfoot against the improving Sousa. There were no breaks of serve in the first set and it was Sousa who dominated the tie-break clinching it on his fourth set point.Federer looked frustrated at times, but the match turned on the seventh game of the second set when Sousa’s level suddenly dipped allowing the Swiss great to pounce and secure his first break. From then on it was all Federer with a break of serve in the first game of the deciding set sending him safely on his way into the last eight. Federer is seeded second in Halle with the top seed being newly-crowned nine-time French Open winner Rafael Nadal, who gets his tournament underway later on Thursday with a match against Germany’s Dustin Brown. Third seed Milos Raonic of Canada lost on Wednesday 6-4, 6-4 to German wildcard Peter Gojowczyk. Federer’s opponent in the quarterfinals will be Lu Yen-Hsun of Taiwan, who defeated big-serving Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/3).

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Aaj Kal