Federer braced for stiff challenge from Mayer

In Roger Federer’s return to tennis at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, he next meets with Florian Mayer and the Swiss star believes that the German will give him a great indication of how ready he is for Wimbledon.

In Federer’s first tournament since the conclusion of the clay court season (which he never took part in), he was knocked out by his good friend Tommy Haas in the first round in Stuttgart.

This week in Halle has been a different story altogether though. Federer has looked as comfortable as he ever has on grass. In booking a quarter-final meeting with Mayer, Federer has beaten Yuichi Sugita and Mischa Zverev without dropping a set.

Friday’s test against Mayer will be a stern one. And the former world number one and seven-time Wimbledon champions is excited by the challenge that awaits.

“I played against a right hander from the baseline in Sugita, a left hander who serves and volleys all the time [Zverev] and Mayer plays very different to everyone else,” Federer said in the build-up to the encounter.

“He uses slice, he comes in, he chips and charges, he loops the ball and serves/volleys a little bit, so he’s really going to throw everything at me. I know he wants it badly, so it will be a tough one. I played my best match today [against Zverev] and that will give me some confidence for tomorrow [against Mayer].

“I think he’s most dangerous on the grass. He’s a tough customer, plus he’s the defending champion. He hasn’t had the best season so far, so there is a lot riding on the match for him as well as for me because we both want to go deep into this tournament.”

Federer leads 7-0 in head-to-heads with Mayer, including three straight-sets wins in Halle (2005, 2012, 2015).