Roger Federer holds court on his return to action.
Roger Federer holds court on his return to action.

Fed back in business as Tomic rounds into form

ROGER Federer has made a victorious return after recovering from a set down to beat Germany's Mischa Zverev 3-6 6-4 6-2 at the Stuttgart Open.

The Swiss top seed, who skipped the entire European clay-court swing to concentrate on the grass season, showed signs of rust early on against Zverev but it did not take too long for him to rediscover his rhythm.

Federer had some early chances but could not take them and it was Zverev who struck first when he broke to love to lead 5-3 before a couple of aces helped him pocket the opening set.

It was the first set Zverev, older brother of world No.3 Alexander, had ever taken from Federer in six attempts, and a shock looked on the cards when he had a break point in the opening game of the second set.

 

Roger Federer is chasing his ninth Wimbledon title.
Roger Federer is chasing his ninth Wimbledon title.

Federer, who will be seeking a ninth Wimbledon title next month, eventually found some magic with a backhand winner to break for a 4-2 lead but the 36-year- old handed the advantage straight back in the next game.

Veteran Tommy Haas stunned Federer in Stuttgart a year ago but any thoughts of a similarly early exit against Zverev vanished as he surged into a 4-1 lead in the second set and cruised to victory.

"Three months is a long time, it's longer than the year-end break," said Federer, who had not played since March.

"So I'm very happy returning on good terms onto the tour. It's difficult, missed some chances maybe in the first set ... He connected well at the right times. Then I found my rhythm. I'm super happy to be back on tour. It's been a great start."

Bernard Tomic is obviously relishing the return to grass courts.
Bernard Tomic is obviously relishing the return to grass courts.

Meanwhile, the enigmatic Bernard Tomic has recorded his first win over a top-50 player in almost a year just weeks after bombing out of the French Open to lucky loser Marco Trungelliti.

The former world No.17 beat sixth seed and world No.44 Robin Haase 6-3 7-5 at the Rosmalen Grass Court Championships in the Netherlands.

Tomic's last win over one of the game's elite came on June 29 last year when he beat Mischa Zverev in straight sets at Eastbourne.

The German, however, turned the tables a week later at Wimbledon, eliminating Tomic in the first round.

Tomic, ranked 181st in the world, will face fourth seed Fernando Verdasco in the next stage after the Spaniard ousted Russian Daniil Medvedev 6-4 6-1. Verdasco will be hoping to end his winless streak against Tomic, who has come out on top in their last five meetings.

 

Tomic will be joined in the quarter-finals by countryman Matt Ebden, who beat third seed and defending champion Gilles Muller 6-3 7-5.

 

Ebden next faces Romania's Marius Copil in the quarter-finals.



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