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Watch highlights as Roger Federer sprints through his opener at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle. Watch live tennis at tennistv.com. Thomas Starke/Getty Images photo.

Federer Sprints Through Halle Opener

Nine-time champion stretches grass-court win streak in Germany

Roger Federer raced through his opening match at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle on Tuesday, taking only 71 minutes to beat Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene 6-3, 6-4. The top seed and No. 1 player in the ATP Rankings stretched his grass-court win streak to 17, dating back to last year's titles in Halle and Wimbledon and including his 98th title run last week at the MercedesCup in Stuttgart.

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Federer fought through an eight-minute game to break Bedene and immediately grab control for a 2-0 lead. He served flawlessly, winning 84 per cent (41/49) of his service points for the match, including a hold to love for the opening set.

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The Swiss right-hander then broke in the ninth game of the second set before another routine service hold clinched his place in the second round.

The 36-year-old is going for his 10th Halle title (2003-06, 2008, 2013-15, 2017). Half of Federer's 18 grass-court crowns have come in the German city. He needs to repeat as Halle champion to stay No. 1, or else Rafael Nadal will reclaim the top spot in the ATP Rankings.

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Federer will next try to improve to 6-0 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with Frenchman Benoit Paire, who beat Steve Johnson of the U.S. 7-5, 7-6(5).

In other action, sixth seed Philipp Kohlschreiber advanced when Hungary's Marton Fucsovics retired down 6-4, 3-6, 1-2. Kohlschreiber will next meet Aussie Matthew Ebden, a finalist last year at the grass-court Dell Technologies Hall of Fame Open in Newport. Ebden beat Tunisia's Malek Jaziri 6-0, 7-6(2) in Halle.

Did You Know?
Roger Federer improved to 60-6 in Halle on Tuesday.

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