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Roger Federer makes winning start to grass court season in Halle

Playing his first match since his withdrawal from Roland-Garros, the 10-time Halle champion scored a straight sets win over Ilya Ivashka

Federer_Halle_2021 Imago / Panoramic

20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer made a wining start to his grass-court campaign for the 2021 season with a straight-sets win in the first round of the Noventi Open in Halle.

Federer scored a 7-6(4), 7-5 win against Ilya Ivashka in 95 minutes on Monday in his first match since withdrawing from the fourth round of the French Open last week.

The Swiss, a 10-time champion in Halle, will play either Felix Auger-Aliassime or Hubert Hurkacz in the second round.

Very happy and excited that I was able to get through the first one

Roger Federer

This was marked Federer’s first grass court match since losing to Novak Djokovic in the 2019 Wimbledon final where he held two matchpoints.

“[I] had a tough moment early on in the first set when he had break points, so that was crucial to get out of those,” Federer said in his on-court interview as quoted by the ATP Tour website. “And then I played a really good tie-break, which I was happy about. I think as the match went on I started to create more opportunities and started to also calm my nerves a bit. Overall I think I served very well. Clearly, I can always be a little bit better, but I’m very happy and excited that I was able to get through the first one.”

Halle marks only Federer’s fourth tournament since the 2020 Australian Open. After undergoing two knee surgeries in 2020, the Swiss returned in Doha where he reached the quarter-final, followed by a second round-loss in Geneva and a fourth round appearance at Roland-Garros.

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