Federer beats Ivashka on first grass-court match since 2019 wimbledon final

Federer, who turns 40 in August, registered a 7-6 (7/4), 7-5 win over Belarusian Ivashka, ranked 90th in the world.

Roger Federer of Switzerland celebrates after winning his match against Ilya Ivashka of Belarus during day 3 of the Noventi Open at OWL-Arena.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Roger Federer eased into the second round of the ATP grass-court tournament in Halle on Monday with a straight-sets win over qualifier Ilya Ivashka.

Federer, who turns 40 in August, registered a 7-6 (7/4), 7-5 win over Belarusian Ivashka, ranked 90th in the world. Federer, the fifth seed in Halle, will meet Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime or Hubert Hurkacz of Poland in the second round.

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"There is room for improvement, but I am happy with my first game here on grass. I feel good," said Federer, currently ranked eighth in the world, who is bidding to win the Halle tournament for the 11th time.

Having had two surgeries on his right knee in 2020, Federer, who has won 20 Grand Slam titles, withdrew from the fourth round of the French Open last week to give himself more rest.

He is using Halle to tune up for his bid to win a ninth title at Wimbledon, which starts June 28.

Federer had no problems moving around the court and when the first set went to a tie-breaker, he raced into a 6-1 lead, then converted his fourth set point.

Federer broke Ivashka's serve to lead 6-5 in the second, converting his fourth match point to book his place in the second round after one hour, 36 minutes.

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