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Federer rules Halle for 8th time

Roger Federer further cemented himself as the king of grass at the Gerry Weber Open, capturing an unprecedented eighth Halle title and 15th overall crown on the surface.

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Federer wins inaugural Istanbul Open crown

Roger Federer won his 85th ATP World Tour title at the inaugural TEB BNP Paribas Istanbul Open, beating third seed Pablo Cuevas 6-3, 7-6(11).

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Federer: I want to play as long as possible

Federer in his latest interview with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung talked about his family, Martina Hingis proposal for the Rio Olympics in 2016 to his relationship with his coach Stefan Edberg.

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Federer wins seventh Dubai crown

Roger Federer captured a record seventh Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships crown as he defeated Novak Djokovic 6-3, 7-5 in the final.

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Sampras 'amazed' by relentless Federer motivation

Sampras has a great appreciation for how Federer - a 33-year-old father of four - still has such love and enthusiasm for playing tennis.

Federer flies into Wimbledon third round

Roger Federer notches his 75th match win at Wimbledon and continued his quest to become the first man in history to win eight titles with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 victory over American Sam Querrey.

The second seed Federer will face Sam Groth in the third round. Earlier, Aussie Groth fired 24 aces as he beat compatriot James Duckworth 7-5, 6-4, 7-6(6).

Federer fired 32 winners, won 19 of 22 net points and hit just 10 unforced errors in a 85 minutes encounter.

"I'm very happy with the way I've played now in the first two matches. I've had a good run so you don't want it to stop in the first or second round. I guess there's also a little bit of relief that I'm actually playing well at Wimbledon," said Federer.

"Today was definitely a good day. I sort of returned well. I definitely think I can serve a little bit better. I didn't check my match stats, but I feel like things are definitely good out there. I had a good 10 minutes at the end of the first set. I think that was the key moment to go from 4-all to 6-4, 2-0. That was the moment that I took control of the match really.

"Querrey can definitely be dangerous. He's got a big game, especially on the grass. He was going for his shots today. It was important today to move well and be clear in the important moments. I felt like I was. It was a good match."

It was the first meeting in seven years for the pair, completing a set of meetings on all three surfaces. With the win, Federer improved his ATP Head to Head record over the World No. 36 to 3-0.

Last year at the All England Club, the Swiss reached his ninth Wimbledon final, his 25th major final overall (l. to Djokovic in five sets).

Federer is bidding to become just the second man in history to win eight titles at the same Grand Slam event. Rafael Nadal became the first man to achieve this feat by winning the eighth of his ninth Roland Garros titles in 2013.

Date: 2nd July 2015, Source: ATP and AFP

Record-seeking Federer outclasses Dzumhur

With seven Wimbledon trophies, 15 titles on grass and 136 victories on the lush green surface, there is not much that fazes Roger Federer when he turns up at the All England Club.

The same could not be said of his first-round opponent on Tuesday.

Bosnian journeyman Damir Dzumhur arrived to face the most celebrated of Wimbledon champions without ever having played a match on grass.

Just how ill-prepared Dzumhur was for his grasscourt baptism was clear for all to see as Federer began his 63rd consecutive grand slam event with a regal 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 victory that was all over in 68 majestic minutes.

“The grass changes as the tournament progresses,” commented Federer. “It's easier to move once you enter, I'd say, third round. Then especially the second week, just because of the used bit in the back, you have more grip, whereas in the beginning of the tournament it's softer, it's more slippery where the green patches are.

“Playing on Centre Court is exciting. It’s a privilege to be there,” added Federer. “I was trying to think how many times I've played there now. I don't know. I know it's been often. Still, every time it feels like it's a special occasion, for sure.”

The man who has contested nine All England Club finals, and 25 overall at the majors, was certainly feeling the love from 15,000 Centre Court spectators who stood to attention as he sauntered in to begin his pursuit of a record eighth Wimbledon trophy.

“Roger, I love youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu” boomed a male voice as Federer kicked off his 83rd match at the home of grasscourt tennis with an unreturnable serve.

The cheers from the RF appreciation society grew louder with every Federer winner, be it a blazing backhand, a flashy forehand or a razzle-dazzle volley.

Those spellbinding shots flowing out of the Federer racket earned him five breaks of serve before he finished off Wimbledon debutant Dzumhur with a love service game to chalk up his 74th victory at Wimbledon.

Dzumhur, who was just 11 when Federer won the first of his record 17 grand slam titles here in 2003, had to make do with the consolation of winning seven games against his childhood idol.

It was the second Grand Slam in a row in which Federer had knocked out Dzumhur, No. 88 in the ATP Rankings. The pair had squared off in the third round of this year’s Roland Garros tournament, a match which Federer also won in straight sets. It was the players’ only previous meeting.

In Round Two, Federer will take on American Sam Querrey, who downed Dutchman Igor Sijsling 7-5, 6-3, 6-4. The seven-time Wimbledon champ has never dropped a set against Querrey. It will be the pair’s first meeting on grass.

Date: 30th June 2015, Source: Reuters and ATP

Federer praised Hewitt ahead of Wimbledon finale

Roger Federer has lavished Lleyton Hewitt with the ultimate send-off from the All England Club, saying the baseline warrior showed a generation of champions how to master the art of modern-day grass-court tennis.

Bidding for a record eighth Wimbledon crown, Federer hailed Hewitt as a grass-court pioneer who deserved to be remembered for the "unbelievable" impact he has had during his 17-year professional career.

Preparing for his Wimbledon swansong, Hewitt was the last player to win the singles in 2002 before Federer, and to a lesser extent Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, dominated.

Federer made his Wimbledon debut with Hewitt in doubles when the pair were teenagers in 1999 and the Swiss legend said it had been special enjoying a career-long friendship and rivalry with the former world number one.

"I played him in Wimbledon, 's Hertogenbosch, Halle, played him on grass as well in Davis Cup in Sydney," Federer said.

"It's been always tough against him on this surface. I think for a baseliner, he was the first guy really from the baseline to have such a major impact as well.

"Plus he's a smaller guy. It was dominated by the big servers for a while. Back then, Ivan Lendl, Jim Courier, they had to really volley to have success. They did it very well.

"But Lleyton was really every point from the baseline. For him to win Wimbledon and have the career he had on the grass is quite unbelievable.

"It showed an entire generation how it can be done."

Hewitt's eight grass-court titles is also second only to Federer's 15 among active players and Wimbledon's second seed said he still enjoyed hitting with the Australian.

"I practiced here again with him," Federer.

"It just shows why he's so tough. He hits that flat ball, helps his serve, unbelievable slice, good at net, he's fast, low to the ground. He's got so many things going for him.

"I've always enjoyed watching him. Playing against him has been cool at times, not always so much fun.

"A feisty competitor, one of the toughest I always had to play against.

"I wish that he can play a good match, a good tournament, that he can enjoy Wimbledon after for what it is, and I'm sure he will."

Hewitt faces Finnish veteran Jarkko Nieminen in the first round on day one.

Date: 28th June 2015, Source: ABC AU

Federer rested and refreshed for Wimbledon

Roger Federer is hoping that good preparation will set him on course for an 18th Grand Slam championship crown. Federer believes that the extra week gap between Roland Garros and Wimbledon will help him as he looks to win an eighth title at The Championships.

“It’s probably been the best preparation I've ever had for Wimbledon,” said Federer. “Because we have a week more on the grass. Winning Halle has given me the extra confidence I guess it's going to take me to win this title here.

“Just the moving on grass takes some adjustment. Also, in my opinion, some physical adjustment, which I had all the time to do. That worked well. I could go early to Halle, train a lot, rest again.”

Federer has been training at the All England Club since Wednesday.

“The extended season has changed everything, to be honest. You might think that a week is not a lot, but a week is so much for us players. The good thing is you can heal problems you might have carried over from the French rather than taking chances right away running onto the grass, or not playing a warm-up event.

“I could rest and relax and then really train and prepare properly, for a change, for a good grass-court season. I can totally pace myself, which is huge in an athlete's career and life.”

He comes in with a 34-6 record on the season, including four ATP World Tour titles.

The Swiss isn’t look back with too many regrets on last year’s five-set loss to Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final.

“If I do look at last year, I see more the positives than actually the heart-breaking loss in the final,” Federer told the media on Saturday.

“I wasn't playing great, and I made the finals. Again, I did end up playing a great tournament. I played some really good tennis.

“This year, I feel my game is better. I've gotten used to the racquet. This is not the first time I'm at Wimbledon with Stefan Edberg. The work I've put in with Severin, my coach, I could really aim for Wimbledon this year.”

Although a player winning a Grand Slam singles title at nearly 34 would be unprecedented in this era - it has not happened since the early 1970s - Federer is genuinely shaping up as one of the favourites for the title.

It remains to be seen how Djokovic will respond to his crushing defeat in the French Open final. Rafael Nadal has yet to pull himself out of an extended funk that has seen him fall to No.10, and has not gone deep at Wimbledon in three years. Andy Murray must contend with a pressure-cooker environment of a Grand Slam event on home soil. Top five stars Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori have historically struggled on grass, while last year’s beaten semi-finalists, Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov, have endured their own woes - Raonic with injury, Dimitrov with form.

The second seed opens his campaign against Damir Dzumhur, who’ll be making his Wimbledon debut.

Date: 27th June 2015, Source: Wimbledon and ATP

If Federer and Nadal retire popularity of tennis will dip says Becker

Boris Becker fears that tennis could be lacking big personalities in the near future if Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal call time on their careers.

The six-time grand slam champion captured the public's imagination with his youthful charisma and thrilling playing style during an exciting era for the sport.

Becker regularly battled against a number of big characters as the likes of John McEnroe, Pat Cash and Andre Agassi drew in huge crowds.

The modern generation of male players have also strengthened the image of tennis and there is huge expectation surrounding this year’s Wimbledon tournament, with Federer, Djokovic, Murray and Nadal targeting the title.

But Becker, who coaches Djokovic, has raised concerns about the shortage of consistent challengers outside the top four.

"I think the men's side is in a very healthy state, we have an increase in popularity from over 10 years ago and the numbers are staggering," he said.

"But the question has to be asked: what if Roger decides to quit or Rafa is not coming back? It's impossible to carry on with only Novak and Andy.

"You have a young group of Australians - Nick Kyrgios, Thanasi Kokkinakis, who have good personalities and are interesting to watch, but there's a gap in between of players you don't know anything about. In two or three years' time, we have to be careful."

Earlier this month, Murray issued an apology after microphones picked up bad language during his third-round win over Kyrgios at the French Open.

Becker believes the current stars of the ATP tour could be forced to repress their personalities due to the intense media scrutiny.

“Nowadays everything is so supervised and so observed and everybody is very judgemental," said the 47-year-old, who was nicknamed 'Boom Boom Boris'. "We live in a day and age where players have to be guarded a lot, in who they are as people.

"There's microphones on the court and social media so there are a lot of occasions when players have to guard their emotions and that's unfortunate because you want to see the real person.

"I admire very much the current crop of players and I think the big four are exceptional players with exceptional personalities, but there are so many more in tennis who cannot really show their true sides because they are so protective and so careful."

This year’s Wimbledon winner is expected to come from the top four in the world and Becker - a three-time title holder - is predicting an enthralling fortnight.

"I think there's a very strong rivalry between Federer and Djokovic and between Djokovic and Murray and between Nadal and Djokovic," said Becker.

"These are the matches that everyone is looking forward to. Those are the rivalries that make the sport, that everyone is fascinated by.

"For a long time it was Roger and Rafa, even though Rafa won most of the matches, but last year we had a couple of really good matches between Andy and Novak and I think those are the matches which make the sport special."

Date: 23rd June 2015, Source: Sky Sports

Federer rules Halle for eighth time with win over Seppi

Roger Federer further cemented himself as the king of grass on Sunday at the Gerry Weber Open, capturing an unprecedented eighth Halle title and 15th overall crown on the surface.

The World No. 2 overcame a strong test from Andreas Seppi to prevail 7-6(1), 6-4, claiming their third ATP Head to Head meeting of the year. Federer improved to 12-1 against the Italian, firing 14 aces and 36 winners, while staving off all four break points faced.

A day after earning his 50th match win in Halle, Federer became just the third player in the Open Era to claim at least eight titles in a single tournament, joining Rafael Nadal and Guillermo Vilas. Nadal has won nine times at Roland Garros and eight in Monte-Carlo and Barcelona, while Vilas emerged victorious on eight occasions in his home capital of Buenos Aires.

"It is a special moment for me, to win here for the eighth time. I hope this is a good omen for Wimbledon," the 17-times grand slam winner said. "I have always enjoyed amazing support here all these year. I always enjoy it here and it is one of my favourite events.

"2013 was difficult, 2014 was better and now 2015 after this week is even better and I hope I can keep it up," he said with Wimbledon starting on June 29.

"I think that I did very well here in the tie-breaks," said Federer. "I served well which you have to on the grass. I was able to mix it up, so I created a good pattern going into the tie-break. My opponent wouldn’t quite know where it’s going to go and if he knew where it was going to go it was going to be tough for him to defend. I think I did a really nice job this week on these situations.

"I think one big secret on grass is when to hit which shot and playing the score the right way. You might be playing perfect but then in one moment you take a bad decision and grass makes you pay for it all. So, this week has been great if I look at the whole thing. I don’t think I got broken anymore the last four matches I played. The first match was extremely close but I won all the tie-breaks this week, which gives obviously big confidence knowing that in the crucial moments my game was right there."

Federer was clutch throughout the one-hour and 48-minute affair, saving a pair of set points at 5-4 in the first, before racing through the ensuing tie-break. A slice approach and lunge volley gave him a 2-0 lead and he would secure the opener after Seppi netted a double fault. It was the top seed's sixth straight tie-break won this week and he would press for a break in the eighth game of the second set, but Seppi held after 10 minutes. The Italian would not be as fortunate in his next service game, and with the added pressure of serving to stay in the match, he fell behind 15/40 and was unable to recover.

One of 13 titlists aged 30 and over in 2015, Federer brings home €381,760 and 500 ATP Ranking points. He improved to 86-44 in tour-level finals and is now eight titles behind Ivan Lendl for second on the Open Era list.

Seppi, meanwhile, was bidding to notch his fourth ATP World Tour title and first since hoisting the trophy in Moscow 2012. The 31-year-old Italian drops to 1-2 in grass-court finals, having previously split consecutive title matches on the lawns of Eastbourne in 2011 (d. Tipsarevic) and '12 (l. to Roddick).

"It was a fantastic week for me," said Seppi. "A first final in a 500 tournament. I had some chances in the first set with two set points but I can be happy with the level I played and congrats to Roger for winning another title here in Halle. In the important moments he stepped up his serve, played better at the decisive moments and deserved to win in the end."

Date: 21st June 2015, Source: ATP and Reuters

Federer reaches his 10th Halle final

Roger Federer will play for his eighth Gerry Weber Open title after withstanding 20 aces to edge Ivo Karlovic 7-6(3), 7-6(4) Saturday in Halle.

The top seed owns the most grass-court titles in the Open Era and will look for his 15th crown on the lawns when he faces Andreas Seppi in Sunday’s final at this newly reclassified ATP World Tour 500 tournament.

Federer bided his time and was rewarded as he took his few opportunities to beat Karlovic in 88 minutes, improving to a 13-1 standing in their ATP Head to Head. The Swiss won just five points on Karlovic’s serve in the first set, but nailed a backhand passing shot on a second serve return in the seventh point of the tie-break and reeled off the final four points of the set.

Federer saved the only break point of the match in the fourth game of the second set as the match inevitably progressed to another tie-break. The Basel native squandered his initial mini-break advantage, but reclaimed the lead at 5-4 as Karlovic netted a backhand volley and did not lose another point.

"It comes down to a shot here or there," said Federer. "We are both mentally prepared. We’ve played so many breakers against one another and I think he was better in the first set, I was better in the breaker. I stayed calm. And in the second set probably I was better throughout the set and he was maybe a bit better in the breaker. Maybe I got a little bit lucky in the breaker.

“So, it was a tough match. I knew that going in. I was struggling to read his serve in the first set, but handled it better in the second set. It was tough. It’s just a bit of a grind and physically it’s like easy, mentally rough.”

Karlovic’s 20 aces took his tally for the week to 114; he hit an ATP World Tour (best-of-three) record 45 aces in his quarter-final win over Tomas Berdych. The 36-year-old Croat did not lose serve all week in 48 games.

It is the seventh time in his career that Federer has registered 50 match wins at a tour-level event. The 33 year old is through to his 10th final in Halle, with his only defeats coming in 2012 against Tommy Haas and 2010 against Lleyton Hewitt.

Federer has a 33-6 match record on the season and is chasing his fourth title of the campaign to add to trophies in Brisbane (d. Raonic), Dubai (d. Djokovic) and Istanbul (d. Cuevas).

Seppi advanced to the final after Kei Nishikori retired down 1-4 in the first set after 14 minutes due to a calf injury.

The Swiss leads his ATP Head to Head series with Seppi 11-1. The Italian's lone win against Federer came in January when he won in four sets in the third round of the Australian Open.

Into his eighth ATP World Tour final, the 31-year-old World No. 45 looks to add to his three tour-level titles: Moscow (2012), Belgrade (2012) and Eastbourne (2011).

“I played him many times. For some time, we also practiced quite often. I think he hits the ball very well on both sides, especially cross court and then he can go down the line,” said Federer of the Italian.

“I think that's what makes him a tough player. I think fitness-wise he's very fit, you know, he won't go away.

“He doesn't have the best second serve but I think he has improved that over time. And because he hits the ball quite flat it actually helps him on the grass.”

Date: 20th June 2015, Source: ATP and AFP

Federer blitzes Mayer in Halle

Roger Federer raced into the Gerry Weber Open semi-finals Friday after dismissing German Florian Mayer 6-0, 7-6(1) in 64 minutes. Chasing a record eighth Halle title, Federer is unlikely to expect any further bagel sets when he meets big-serving Croatian Ivo Karlovic, who fired a record 45 aces in his three-set quarter-final win over Tomas Berdych.

Karlovic, who came into this week holding an ATP-equal-best 94 percent of service games in 2015, pushed Federer to three sets when they last met in Basel in 2014. The 6’ 11” Karlovic has extended Federer to 16 tie-breaks in the 33 sets they have contested throughout their ATP Head to Head rivalry, which the Swiss leads 12-1.


In the first set against Mayer, Federer struck 14 winners and won all six points on the German’s second serve. It was the World No. 2’s fifth career bagel in Halle, the last one coming in a 6-0, 6-0 win over Mischa Zverev in the quarter-finals in 2013.

“I’m happy this week is going well. This was clearly a total different opponent to the first two. I got more chances off his second serve, I was able to get into rallies easier and I had a good serving day. I thought I played very well today,” offered Federer.


The crafty Mayer did mount a stiff challenge in the second set. The 31 year-old, who entered Halle on a protected ranking, was once 18th in the world. He is comfortable on grass, having compiled a 27-15 record in Tour-level matches on the surface. Mayer saved two break points to push the second set to a tie-break, but Federer found his range and took it seven points to one.

“I think Florian brings a different challenge to the table because of his shot-making,” revealed Federer. “He plays a different type of shots than other players do and I think I quite enjoyed that challenge. I had to focus very hard at the end to play a good breaker.

“The important thing, however, is that Florian has found back to the Tour after his injury and is really improving,” the winner praised his opponent after the match.

A completely different test awaits Federer in the semi-finals in the form of the huge-serving Karlovic.

Date: 19th June 2015, Source: ATP

Roger Federer feels good about his shot at Wimbledon title

In a small German town tucked away from the rest of the tennis world, there is a street named for Roger Federer at a grass-court tournament that he's won seven times.

This week, the Swiss man many call the greatest of all time goes for his eighth title in Halle near Roger-Federer-Allee, but his vision is focused beyond - to another tournament that he'd like to win an eighth time: Wimbledon.

"Wimbledon has been a big goal this season for me and I'm happy how my body is feeling," Federer told USA Today Sports in an exclusive interview Tuesday. "I'm still here to do well, to win tournaments, to win Wimbledon, to do all these things. We're in the grass-court season, and I'm thinking ahead. I have a clear picture for what's in store for the next month."

What once was routine is now something Federer seeks more than anything in his career: another Wimbledon trophy. The seven-time champion won five in a row from 2003 to 2007, part of his record 17 majors in tennis, the most of any man.

But he hasn't been crowned the king of any major since 2012, when he won No. 7 at the All England Club. A bad back hampered his results in 2013, springing over-the-hill and washed-up questions on the 33-year-old.

But the world No. 2 said he feels as motivated and fit as ever. He discussed embracing and facing the pressures that go along with being the sport's biggest star, and said his most valued time with his twin girls, who will turn 6 this summer, are family trips to the ski hill. He also has a set of twin boys, born last year.

How long will he keep playing? It's a question he doesn't think about often, he said.

"It's about just playing for the right reasons, which is No. 1 because I love it and No. 2 because I want to be successful," Federer said of his continued motivation on tour. "I mean, for me to play on the tour and make the quarterfinals every week, it's not bad, but it's not going to - after everything that I've gone through - it's not what is going to keep me on tour.

"I need to play well and feel like I can beat the best and win the biggest tournaments and as long as I feel that way, I'm clearly going to keep playing."

That has been Federer's Achilles' heel the last three years: Failing to beat his biggest rivals - namely Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray - at the majors, and increasingly falling to opponents he'd previously proven bulletproof against on the sport's greatest stages.

It's also a time that Federer has become tennis' most sought-after commodity, for fans and tournament organizers alike. He's learned to balance the adoration and the constant pressure, which has been heaped on him for a greater part of a decade now.

"I don't freak out about it like I used to when I was younger and up and coming and I felt like all the eyes were on me. I'm more laid back today," Federer said. "At new tournaments I feel a bit of the pressure having to perform and having to win, really for people who buy tickets and the tournament director and myself, who has high hopes."

"It's extraordinary what he brings to an event. He's a legend," said ATP World Tour President and Executive Chairman Chris Kermode.

"He feels comfortable on Wimbledon on the grass. No one can rule him out from winning a major tournament on grass. He's fully capable of doing it."

Whether he will be able to do just that will take shape when Wimbledon begins on June 29, a full three weeks after the end of the French Open, a week longer than previous years.

On Tuesday Federer sat on a wooden deck chair on a hotel's back patio here, dressed in a sporty green Nike track jacket. Over neatly trimmed hedges across a pond, fans tried snapping long-distance photos of Federer, who appeared oblivious to their ogling. Nearby staff asked him if he'd like them to quit smoking from a few tables away. When he said he didn't mind, they stopped anyway.

"Today I'm very professional to my everyday approach to tour, because I know it's a privilege what I'm going through," Federer said. "I know that many other players would love to be competing at the highest of levels at all times, and I get to get this opportunity. I don't want to waste it; I want to make the most of it."

The man who dreams of winning another Wimbledon doesn't dream at all in his sleep, actually "No, I never dream to be honest", but he does let himself visualize hoisting another trophy in SW19.

"Sometimes when I don't expect it, it happens to me," Federer said of the images in his mind. "I don't necessarily sit down and visualize it, but those visions do come."

The past titles help, too.

"I don't live in the past, but the past is good and no one can take that away from me. Maybe it relaxes you a little bit, but I don't want it to make me too laid back. It allows me to say, 'Look, I've had a wonderful career, whatever comes now is just great."

And while looking back at his career is something he tries not to do, it's something he revels in with daughters Myla Rose and Charlene Riva, on family trips up to the ski hill.

"We dress them up and it's a bit of a battle sometimes because of all the layers, but we pack them in the car and go," Federer explained, laughing. "I love those moments just in the car, with them in their boots and helmets and I'm driving and looking back in the rear-view mirror and just thinking, 'This is so cool.' It reminds me of my own childhood. I love that about spending time with them."

Date: 18th June 2015, Source: USA Today

Federer defeats Gulbis to reach Halle QFs

Roger Federer and Ernests Gulbis had gone the distance in splitting their previous four ATP Head to Head meetings, including a five-set encounter won by the Latvian last year at Roland Garros.

On Wednesday at the Gerry Weber Open, Federer avenged that loss with their first straight-sets result. The top seed and seven-time Halle champion defeated his 86th-ranked opponent 6-3, 7-5.

“It is a grass-court match and he’s got a big serve, so regardless of what his level is, he’s always going to be tough for himself and for the opponent,” said Federer. “I served well when I had to and I’m pleased about the overall performance today.

“He’s got potential for the Top 10. He needs to be more confident in the difficult phases of a match,” Federer said about Gulbis.

After taking the opening set in 27 minutes with one break of serve, Federer brought up triple break point at 5-all in the second. Gulbis saved the first two, but double-faulted on the third.

Asked to assess his early grass-court form and whether he could compete in two week's time with Novak Djokovic, whom he labelled the favourite for Wimbledon, Federer joked, “Yes, because I’ve won two matches on grass and he hasn’t won any yet (laughs).

“Kidding aside, yes, I hope to be competitive,” he continued. “I hope I’m going to be in good shape. I hope we play against each other. That probably means we are in the final both of us and we’re both equally pleased with the tournament. But we know how long that road is to get there. I think our games both work very well on grass.

“I believe with the year he had and the Wimbledon last year, he’s going to be favourite, he’s going to be playing very well again. Anything else will be quite surprising.”

The 33-year-old Swiss will first look to win his 15th grass-court title this week at this newly reclassified ATP World Tour 500 tournament.

Federer had come within two points of defeat in his Halle opener against 2011 champion Philipp Kohlschreiber on Monday, but reeled off three straight points to close the third set tie-break.

He will look to extend his Halle winning streak to 10 straight matches when he next faces German Florian Mayer. Federer has a 5-0 ATP Head to Head record against Mayer, including a pair of victories in Halle.

Date: 17th June 2015, Source: ATP