Federer reaches last eight in Halle, injury concern for Nishikori

Top seed Roger Federer put Mischa Zverev away in straight sets at the Gerry Weber Open and will now meet defending champion Florian Meyer.

Roger Federer moved a step closer to winning a ninth Gerry Weber Open title by beating Mischa Zverev to reach the quarter-finals after Kei Nishikori suffered another injury setback just 11 days before Wimbledon gets under way.

Federer suffered a shock loss to Tommy Haas in his first match on grass this season in Stuttgart last week, but followed up a straightforward win over Yuichi Sugita by beating Zverev 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in Halle on Thursday.

The 18-time grand slam champion did not face a single break point in the second-round match and came out on top in a tie-break to get his nose in front, before breaking once in the second to set up a meeting with defending champion Florian Mayer.

Zverev got himself out of a hole by saving three break points before levelling at 5-5 in a tight opening set, but two sumptuous backhands from the top seed made the difference in the breaker.

The second set went with serve until Federer scampered across to fire a forehand at the body of Zverev, which he had no chance of returning and the Swiss broke to lead 5-4 before serving out the match as he eyes a fourth title of the year with Wimbledon fast approaching.

Nishikori's progress has been hampered by injuries and the third seed was 3-2 down in his first grass-court tournament of the year when he retired from his encounter with Karen Khachanov due to a back problem.

The world number nine was plagued by a wrist injury for much of the clay-court campaign and, although he reached the quarter-finals at the French Open, he has not won a title this year.

Mayer was a 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 6-3 victor over sixth seed Lucas Pouille, while wildcard Andrey Rublev beat Mikhail Youzhny in an all-Russian second round match and will now face another compatriot in the form of Khachanov.