Federer wins Halle opener

Top seed Roger Federer is safely through to the second round of the Gerry Weber Open after beating German wild card Jan-Lennard Struff in straight sets.

The Swiss ace converted just one break point but stayed solid on serve throughout to wrap up a 6-4, 7-6 (7-3) victory and set up a second-round encounter with Tunisian Malek Jaziri.

Federer's victory was only his 19th of the season to date, as first a knee surgery, and then a back injury, kept him on the sidelines for extended periods.

His movement continued to look good, however, and he managed to cover the whole court against Struff without seeming in any discomfort.

Federer is chasing his ninth title in Halle, and first of the season. His current title drought is the longest since 2000.

There were also first-round wins for Phillip Kohlschreiber, Teymuraz Gabashvili, the in-form Domonic Thiem and local favourite Florian Mayer, who received a walkover after Japan's Kei Nishikori was forced to withdraw through injury.

In second-round matches completed on the day, Alexander Zverev advanced when his opponent, Benjamin Becker, retired hurt. Zverev was leading 7-5, 3-0 at the time.

Italy's Andreas Seppi also defeated Yuichi Sugita 6-3, 6-0 while Marcos Baghdatis saw off Dustin Brown 7-5, 7-6 (10-8).