Roger Federer won his 1,100th career match in the first round at the Gerry Weber Open. The 8-time champion in Halle cruised to a 6-3 6-1 win in 52 minutes over lucky loser Yuichi Sugita, who replaced Yen-Hsun Lu, who withdrew due to an arm injury. The Swiss maestro looked comfortable throughout, aggressive on the quick playing grass. He won 90% of his first serve points (26/29) to dictate play.
“It [the milestone] was mentioned in Stuttgart but I had forgotten about it. I appreciate these numbers way more today than ever before. I think I can embrace them more. It’s a big number and I’m very happy to have a chance to hopefully add some more wins to that number,” Federer said.
The 35-year-old Swiss was pleased with his play during the match.
“I played some good tennis, some nice points. I played the way I wanted to play: aggressive, took charge from the baseline and served well. Overall, I’m very happy,” Federer said.
“I found out around the same time that everybody else did, around 12 o’clock,” Federer said. “Then I wasn’t sure if it was going to be Sugita or somebody else. I had to wait and see if there were going to be any more changes and a different opponent coming my way. I saw the third-set breaker between Sugita and Youzhny. I saw the last 20 points of that epic match.”
“I had a little bit of an idea how [Sugita] plays. I’ve seen him practise here and he’s really made a run recently. I got some info from coaches and other players and coaches, so I got the full scouting report. But of course, I tried to play on my terms.”
Federer improved to 20-2 on the season and will face Mischa Zverev in the second round on Thursday.