Roger Federer made a good start to his quest for a 9th title in Halle, defeating German Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4 7-6 (3) under the roof as rain momentarily halted the day’s schedule. The Swiss maestro looked comfortable, serving 11 aces on 63% serving, while winning 94% of points on his first serve and 76% of points on his second serve. The 8-time Gerry Weber Open champion did not face a break point throughout the 1 hour 13 minute match.
“It was hard to find a rhythm against Struff today. He took the ball early, went for a lot on the forehand, backhand. He has a big serve, especially the first one,” Federer said. “So then you go back to basics, you focus on your own serve. I thought I did that very well. He never really had chances on my own serve, so that was comforting.”
“I feel after the first round, after having played last week [in Stuttgart], actually maybe something is really possible here. I don’t want to get too carried away but I feel like if I serve the way I did today and I’m able to step it up just a little bit on the return from the baseline, all of a sudden I’m dangerous for anybody,” Federer said. “We’ll see how it goes. But I take one match at a time and I hope just to keep on playing a bit better match by match.”
Federer faces Malek Jazira in the second round on Thursday, second match after noon local time in Halle (6am EDT/3am PDT).