Roger Federer could not have been happier back on the grass Monday, with the 10-time Halle winner picking up his 69th win at the German venue with a street named in his honour.
The fifth-seeded Swiss whose last match on the lawns ended in heartbreak to Novak Djokovic two years ago in the Wimbledon final was all business as he dispatched Belarus qualifier Ilya Ivashka 7-6(4), 7-5 in 96 minutes.
Victory marked the 10th win from the past 11 Halle matches for the holder of 103 career titles including 20 Grand Slams.
.”I’m excited to be back on the green grass,” Federer said. “And getting a win is obviously always very nice.
Fedrere saved both break points he faced and advanced on his fourth match point.
With a contract to play the event for the remainder of his career, Federer is treated like a local at the tennis complex designed to mimic the All England Club, complete with the same green-purple colour scheme and a moveable roof over the copycat Centre court.
“I missed it. I hadn’t played a tournament in two years on this surface,” Federer said.
“I’ve done the hard courts, I’ve done the clay and now (I’m) on the grass. It’s been great being back here in Halle. I love playing here.”