STUTTGART, Germany (AP) Roger Federer defeated Milos Raonic 6-4, 7-6 (3) to mark his return from three months off with the Stuttgart Open title on Sunday.
The Swiss great, who is assured of reclaiming the No. 1 ranking from Rafael Nadal on Monday, broke at 1-1 in the opening set and held his nerve in the second, where Raonic double-faulted.
Federer skipped the entire clay-court season for the second year in a row, but he wrapped up his 18th grass-court title in 1 hour and 18 minutes – his 98th title overall and third of the season after victories at the Australian Open and World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.
“It’s a wonderful feeling. I fought hard. When you finally manage it, the joy is even greater,” said Federer, who extended his grass-court winning streak to 16 matches including his titles at Halle and Wimbledon last year.
The 36-year-old will need to defend his title at Halle to maintain his No. 1 spot ahead of Wimbledon.
STRASBOURG, France (AP) Top-seeded Ashleigh Barty withdrew from the Internationaux de Strasbourg clay-court tournament on Tuesday because of a right arm injury.
Barty was replaced in the main draw by lucky loser Diana Marcinkevica.
The eighth-ranked Australian said she would not take any risk ahead of the French Open, which starts Sunday in Paris.
“I gave it my best chance, but unfortunately I wouldn’t be playing my best tennis,” Barty said. “I’m busy the next two months and I need to look after my body now.”
GENEVA (AP) Former top-10 player Janko Tipsarevic used his wild-card entry to beat Peter Gojowczyk of Germany 7-5, 7-5 in the Geneva Open first round on Monday.
Now ranked No. 317, the 34-year-old Tipsarevic is back in ATP Tour main draws after missing the 2018 season for hamstring injuries to heal.
Fifth-seeded Radu Albot advanced to the second round on a day when two seeded players lost in the final week of clay-court warmups for the French Open.
Albot beat qualifier Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 (6), 7-6 (3), after 92nd-ranked Hugo Dellien beat eighth-seeded Andreas Seppi 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, and seventh-seeded Matthew Ebden lost to Nicolas Jarry of Chile 6-2, 7-6 (4).
Rain cut short play and gave former No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov a day off after playing through two qualifying rounds.
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