HALLE, June 19, 2018
Roger Federer began the defense of his No. 1 ranking and Gerry Weber Open championship on Tuesday with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Slovenian Aljaz Bedene. Federer must win his 10th Halle title to remain World No. 1 after returning to the top spot in the ATP Rankings on Monday.
The Stuttgart champion continued his good run of form, being in total control of the encounter. Federer didn’t face a single break point, converting two of his own seven chances to advance in one hour and 11 minutes.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) 19. Juni 2018
“The first set was pretty easy. I had a good start into the match, however it became more difficult in the following, as it was hard to read his serve. I was able to hold all of my serves and eventually I managed to come through. For a first round and without much play on this court, it was fine. I’m very happy,” Federer said.
Next up for Federer will be Frenchman Benoit Paire, who beat Steve Johnson from the United States 7-5, 7-6(5).
Later in the afternoon, Borna Coric knocked out second seed and last year’s runner-up Alexander Zverev 6-1, 6-4. The 21-year-old from Croatia won 58 per cent of the total points played to seal his third victory over the German in the pair’s fourth tour meeting after one hour and 24 minutes.
“There is not a lot to analyse about this match. I practiced only once on grass before and played one doubles match. I probably had the most difficult draw in the first round,” Zverev commented.
“Before the match, I tried to think about always feeling good here in Halle on the Centre Court. But that was completely different today. The longer the match took, the better I got. I thought, if I get a break at 4:5, I might be able to turn the match. But that’s the way it goes.”
Coric will move on, facing the winner of the encounter between German wild card entry Rudolf Molleker and lucky loser Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia.