World no. 2 Roger Federer has come back from his extended layoff to win in three sets over Germany’s Mischa Zverev 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.
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Federer will reclaim the world no. 1 ranking if he reaches the final in Stuttgart.
Last year at the same event he lost in round two against Tommy Haas after having a bye in the first round. The following week Federer got things back on track, winning the Halle title and then Wimbledon.
Federer’s last match before taking his break was his loss at the Miami Masters to Thanasi Kokkinakis on 24 March.
“Three months is a long time, it’s longer than the year-end break. So I’m very happy returning on good terms onto the Tour,” Federer said. “It was difficult, missed some chances maybe in the first set… He connected well at the right times.
“And then I found a way, I found my rhythm… I’m very happy with how I played. I’m super happy to be back on Tour. It’s been a great start.”
Federer will next meet the winner of Argentina’s Guido Pella or India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran.