London - Roger
Federer is in action at Halle this week as the Swiss legend puts the
finishing touches to his assault on an eighth Wimbledon title.
Federer, who made his comeback after skipping the entire clay court
season at Stuttgart last week, faces Lu Yen-Hsun, Taiwan's world number
73 on Tuesday.
The ring-rusty 18-time Grand slam winner was knocked out in the first round in Stuttgart to 39-year-old Tommy Haas.
Haas, a former world number two but now down at 302, won 2-6, 7-6
(10/8), 6-4 for just his fourth victory in 17 meetings against his close
It was just the second defeat of 2017 for the 35-year-old Federer,
who claimed the Australian Open for his 18th major in January.
Federer, aiming for a ninth title at Halle, has won all three of his match-ups against Lu.
He turns up in the Westfalen town after recharging his batteries at home in Switzerland.
"I've got high hopes of playing better here than in Stuttgart last
week," the world number five said, adding that he was "in 100 percent
form for the grass season".
The 35-year-old followed up his Australian Open triumph with wins at
Indian Wells and Miami, before taking a two and a half month 'time-out'
to ensure he was fit and fresh for Wimbledon.
If he gets past Lu, Federer could face Mischa Zverev in the second round.
Zverev's 20-year-old younger brother Alexander, German tennis' latest
prodigy and world number 12, opens his tournament against Italy's Paolo
Japan's Kei Nishikori, beaten in the French Open quarter-finals by
eventual winner Rafael Nadal, opens against Spaniard Fernando Verdasco.
France's Lucas Pouille arrives in Halle hot foot from his success on
the grass at Stuttgart on Sunday where he came from behind to beat
Spain's Feliciano Lopez 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4.
The 23-year-old, who reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals last
season, plays local hope Jan-Lennard Struff, the German he beat in the
first round last week.