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Federer begins Halle defence with comfortable Bedene win

19 June 2018 17:57

Roger Federer kicked off his quest for a 10th Gerry Weber Open title in emphatic fashion with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Aljaz Bedene on Tuesday.

Federer has won four of the past five editions of the tournament in Halle and needs to repeat his 2017 triumph if he is to remain at the top of the world rankings going into Wimbledon.

His first-round display suggested he is in prime position to do just that, with Bedene comfortably brushed aside in front of a crowd clamouring to see Federer in action.

Since making his return to the ATP Tour after three months off, Federer has improved match by match, and he claimed the Stuttgart Open title on Sunday.

He was immediately in control against Bedene with an early break of serve, the Slovenian denying Federer four times before finally succumbing.

The top seed only dropped four points on his own serve in the opening set as Bedene struggled to provide any problems, and that theme continued during their 71 minutes on court.

All too often his groundstrokes failed to find their target and Federer took full advantage with a string of elegant shots.

His trademark backhand down the line brought up two match points, though he only needed one to book a 17th successive win on grass and a second-round meeting with Benoit Paire.

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