Returning Federer delayed by Stuttgart showers

Roger Federer will have to wait until Thursday to complete his second-round match with Taylor Fritz at the MercedesCup in Stuttgart.

The Swiss star was up a break, leading 4-3 in the first set, when rain interrupted the encounter.

Play was later postponed altogether, leaving Federer and Fritz not scheduled to resume before 12: 30 p.m. local time on Thursday.

It was Federer's first match following a month-long injury lay-off, but he showed no signs of the back problems that forced him to miss Roland Garros.

Fritz looked good until a double fault while facing break point handed Federer the advantage.

The American spoke on Tuesday of how thrilled he was to be facing one of his childhood heroes.

“It's amazing being able to play the next round, because growing up, Federer was the guy that nobody could beat,” said Fritz. “I grew up in that generation of him just dominating, so it's crazy now to be stepping on the court with him.”

Two matches were completed earlier in the day, with German duo Florian Mayer and Phillip Kohlschreiber both advancing to the quarter-finals.

Mayer defeated Stuttgart's Michael Berrer 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, while Kohlschreiber overcame Denis Kudla 7-5, 6-3.