Federer fights way into Halle quarter-finals in 3 sets

Roger Federer began his grass-court preparations for Wimbledon by coming from behind to beat Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-7 (8), 6-4, 6-2 at the Gerry Weber Open on Thursday to book his place in the quarter-final.

Federer was denied on five break points in the first set as the No. 47-ranked Sousa edged it in the tie-break. The Swiss' perseverance paid off in the second set as he converted his ninth break point for a 4-3 lead and levelled the match. A break at the start of the third set put Federer on the path to victory in one hour and 50 minutes.

"It was slightly frustrating at times clearly, but nevertheless I served well and kept on doing my thing," said Federer. "It was important to stay calm and actually I think it gives me more confidence winning this way. I had to stay calm, fight through the match and find a way and then the last set and a half were much better. So, I'm actually pretty happy now.

"I just didn't get the important points in the first set unfortunately," said Federer. "Joao played very aggressively and served well in the tie-break too. I knew that I hadn't got too much wrong, and the longer it went on, the better I became, and that certainly gives me self-confidence for what's to come."

The 32-year-old Federer has a 44-5 event record in Halle, lifting the trophy in 2003-'06, '08 and again last year with victory over Mikhail Youzhny. The Basel native is the most successful grass-court player in the Open Era. He has won at least one grass-court title in nine of the past 11 years, claiming 13 in total, including seven triumphs at Wimbledon.

For a place in the semi-finals Federer will face Yen-Hsun Lu who defeated Ivo Karlovic 7-6(2), 7-6(3).

Date: 12th June 2014, Source: ATP and Gerry Weber Open


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