Roger Federer made a successful return to the ATP tour overnight with a tight victory over young American Taylor Fritz at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart.
Federer was broken once at the end of the second set but managed to break his younger opponent in the first and third sets to claim victory 6-4 5-7 6-4. The world number 3 was recently forced to withdraw from the French open with a back injury, ending his run of 65 consecutive grand slam appearances.
It was Federer’s first tour match since the Rome Masters in early May. He will no doubt be keen to continue building momentum leading up to his Wimbledon campaign when he faces German qualifier Florian Mayer in the Stuttgart quarter-final.
Another big name returning from injury was 2009 US Open Champion Juan Martin del Potro. He has made a solid return to the grass courts with straight-set victories over Grigor Dimitrov and John Millman in the first two rounds. Del Potro has only played a handful of tournaments over the past 3 years due to chronic wrist injuries and is currently sitting outside the top 200. Like Federer, Del Potro also skipped the French Open to manage his body through the early phases of his comeback.
The big Argentine is one of the most dangerous players on the tour and provided he can get his body right, could pose a real threat to the top ranked players at Wimbledon. Del Potro’s best result at Wimbledon was in 2013 where he was defeated in the semi-final by Novak Djokovic in 5 sets.