ATP Tour

Federer to face fearless teen Fritz

2016-06-07 15:57
tennis, getty images, roger federer
Roger Federer (Getty Images)

Stuttgart - Teenager Taylor Fritz earned the chance to face his hero Roger Federer after the American defeated an unranked French qualifier on Tuesday to reach the second round in Stuttgart.

Federer will be playing his first match in nearly a month after clearing up back pain and skipping the French Open, as he ramps up his preparations for Wimbledon.

Number 65 Fritz has had time on court with the Swiss legend -- a Wimbledon training session a year ago -- but booked his place into the match of his life with a 3-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-1 win over Fabrice Martin.

Fritz, 18, said he will not worry with nerves when he faces one of the best players on the planet.

The teenager said he had watched and admired Federer as a boy aged 11.

"I never thought then that I'd be playing Federer in singles and teaming with (Juan Martin) Del Potro in doubles (this week).

"I cannot remember the first time I heard the name of Federer or saw him on TV. But it's amazing to play him in the next round.

"I grew up in the generation when he was just dominating everyone. It's crazy to be stepping onto the court with him, I never thought that would happen."

Czech qualifier Radek Stepanek, still going strong at age 37, booked into the second round as he beat Denis Istomin 7-5, 3-6, 6-3. Viktor Troicki became the first seed to exit on the grass at the Weissenhof Club losing to German Florian Mayer 6-4, 7-6 (7/4).

Read more on:    stuttgart open  |  roger federer  |  tennis

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