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Federer stretches winning streak on grass to 17 in Halle

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HALLE, Germany (AP) Roger Federer opened his Gerry Weber Open title defense by seeing off Aljaz Bedene of Slovenia 6-3, 6-4 on Tuesday.

The world No. 1 broke the No. 72nd-ranked Bedene at the first attempt and again for 5-4 in the second set to wrap up the win.

Fresh from winning his 18th grass-court title in Stuttgart on Sunday, Federer dropped just four points on his serve and forced seven break opportunities, taking two.

Federer made his comeback in Stuttgart after skipping the entire clay-court season for the second year in a row, and again he looked sharp as he extended his grass-court winning streak to 17 matches including his titles at Halle and Wimbledon last year.

The Swiss great is just five match wins away from matching Jimmy Connors’ all-time record of 174 victories on grass. Federer’s winning percentage is better, with 169 wins and 24 loses compared to Connors’ record of 174-34.

Federer is bidding for a record-extending 10th title in Halle, which would be his fourth of the season and 99th overall.

Also, Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece upset the fifth-seeded Lucas Pouille 6-2, 7-6 (3), and former title winner Philipp Kohlschreiber progressed against Marton Fucsovics.

There were also first-round wins for Florian Mayer, Matthew Ebden, Karen Khachanov, and Benoit Paire.

Murray loses doubles match at Eastbourne

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EASTBOURNE, England (AP) Andy Murray has lost in men’s doubles for the first time since returning from hip surgery in January.

Murray and his Brazilian partner Marcelo Melo were defeated 6-2, 6-4 in the first round at Eastbourne by top-seeded Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah on Tuesday.

Murray, who struggled on serve, won the doubles title with Feliciano Lopez at the Queen’s Club on Sunday.

The 32-year-old Murray will partner Pierre-Hugues Herbert in men’s doubles at Wimbledon.

More AP Tennis: https://www.apnews.com/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Kvitova to decide this week whether to play at Wimbledon

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PRAGUE — Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova says she will decide later this week if she’s ready to play at the All England Club.

The 29-year-old Czech player injured her left forearm during training in Paris ahead of the French Open and has not played since. The injury prevented her from defending her title at the Birmingham Classic this week.

Kvitova wrote on Twitter that she was “Happy to tell you that my arm is improving and I just hit some balls on the beautiful grass for the first time.

The sixth-ranked Kvitova, who won the Wimbledon title in 2011 and 2014, reached the Australian Open final and won tournaments in Sydney and Stuttgart this year.