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Federer makes winning return; Nadal withdraws from Queen's

Last updated on: June 13, 2018 21:03 IST

Roger Federer

IMAGE: Roger Federer in action. Photograph: ATP World/Twitter

Wimbledon champion Roger Federer made a winning return to action as he recovered from a set down to beat Germany's Mischa Zverev 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 at the Stuttgart Open on Wednesday.

The Swiss, who skipped the entire European claycourt swing to concentrate on the grasscourt season, showed signs of rust early on against Zverev but it did not take too long for him to rediscover his rhythm.

Federer had some early chances but could not take them and it was Zverev who struck first when he broke to love to lead 5-3 before a couple of aces helped him pocket the opening set.

It was the first set Zverev, older brother of world number three Alexander, had ever taken from Federer in six attempts and a shock looked on the cards when he had a break point in the opening game of the second set.

 

Federer, who will be seeking a ninth Wimbledon title next month, eventually found some magic with a backhand winner to break for a 4-2 lead but the 36-year-old handed the advantage straight back in the next game.

He then broke to love in the 10th game to take the match into a decider that became one-way traffic as Federer surged into a 4-1 lead.

Tired Nadal withdraws from Queen's

Rafael Nadal

IMAGE: Rafael Nadal. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

French Open champion Rafael Nadal has pulled out of next week's Queen's Club grasscourt tournament, saying he needs more time to recover after winning his 11th Roland Garros title.

"I would like to say sorry to the tournament organisers and most of all to the fans that were hoping to see me play, but I have spoken to my doctors and I need to listen to what my body is telling me," the 32-year-old Spaniard said on Wednesday.

"Queen's is a great event, I have happy memories of winning the title in 2008 and I wanted to come back this year.

"But it has been a very long claycourt season for me with great results."

World number one Nadal's decision to withdraw from Queen's means he is likely to arrive at Wimbledon without any competitive matches on grass this year.

Bartoli ends plan to return to WTA Tour

Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli has abandoned her attempted return to the Tour, saying her right shoulder is not strong enough to cope with the rigours of professional tennis.

The Frenchwoman, 33, said last December that she planned to come out of retirement at this year's Miami Open before deferring her return until later this year.

"To my dismay I must unfortunately stop my comeback attempt," Bartoli said on her Twitter page.

"The necessary increase of training doses to try to find my best level caused pain again to my right shoulder, which become incompatible with a recovery at the highest level."

Bartoli, who retired six weeks after her Wimbledon triumph in 2013, has suffered ill health since and said she "feared for her life" after dramatic weight loss in 2016.

She has worked in various media roles and was a TV commentator during this month's French Open.

Former world number seven Bartoli hinted that she would like to remain in tennis in a coaching capacity.

"I have a deep desire to transmit all that the very high level has taught me, and I therefore want to invest myself in the training of a player to help her maximise her potential," she said.

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