Roger Federer Starts With Win In Stuttgart
The 20-time Grand Slam champion had to come from a set down.
BY ZORAN HORVAT
After a break of two and a half months, Roger Federer returned to the ATP Tour with a win in three sets against Mischa Zverev, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.
After Starting the year with 17 straight wins and two titles, Federer lost his last two matches. He has not dropped three matches in a row since losing four straight in 2002.
Federer had two break points in the first service game but couldn’t find a way to convert them. At 2-2 Zverev found himself in more trouble, but again saved break points with his aggressive serve and volley game. Zverev was then the first player to earn a break, thanks to two great returns he took the break and had an easy service game to take the first set 6-3.
Federer found himself again in trouble in the first game of the second set, but saved a break point. The longer the match lasted, Federer found his rhythm more and more, and his footwork improved in the second.
At 3-2 Federer converted his third break point of the game with an nice backhand winner. But Zverev came back and leveled the score at 4-4. But serving to stay in the set, Zverev put two volleys into the net and Federer took the set 6-4.
Things went easier for Federer in the third. He converted his first break point of the set at 2-1 and took an early 4-1 lead. Zverev had the chance to find his way back to the match with an break point at 2-4, but Federer saved it with a service winner. The top seed then converted his first match point and made his way to the quarterfinals of Stuttgart after an a bit rough start to the match.
“I’m very happy to be back in Stuttgart and of course that I won the match,” Federer said. “The tournament is very nice, the crowd supports me always very well and it’s only a two-and-a-half hours drive to my home.
“The grass season starts here, so it’s always good to start here the preparation. The match wasn’t easy, but I’m very happy with the win and that I will have the opportunity hopefully to play some more matches here,” he added. “It’s never easy in the first match off the year on grass, especially after my long break. We usually need 2-3 matches, 7-8 sets to adjust to the courts and conditions which were not easy today with the cold weather and wind.”