Roger Federer began his preparations for Wimbledon by defeating Belarusian Ilya Ivashka in Halle.
Halle’s Open in Germany, which Federer has won a record 10 times, is his fifth event of the year as he returned after two knee surgeries in 2020.
It was his first match on grass since losing the 2019 Wimbledon final.
The 20-times Grand Slam champion looked rusty for most of the match – he made 26 unforced errors to his opponent’s 16 – but he kept his serve throughout the match and was able to play in the crucial moments.
“I did very well,” Federer said. “The full-back is good and I feel good.” “It’s just the legs and match fitness I’m looking forward to.
“I’m excited to be back on the green grass. Winning is always a beautiful thing.”
Federer will next play Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime or Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz. He may meet top seed Daniil Medvedev in the quarter-finals, while world number six Alexander Zverev is also playing in a strong field.
Sixth seed Roberto Bautista Agut Lost 6-3 7-6 (7-0) by 20-year-old American world number 50 Sebastian Korda, son of 1998 Australian Open champion Peter Korda.
The seventh seed David Goffin He also came out after retiring during his match against Corentin Moutet. The Belgian slipped and fell embarrassingly in the first half of the second set and withdrew when his French opponent tied the match.
Wimbledon, which was not played in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, begins on June 28.