Following a surprisingly tough opening round match-up, 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer is through to the quarter-final round of the Gerry Weber Open, where he will meet Yen-Hsun Lu for the third time on the professional tour. Federer leads the head-to-head series 2-0, but their most recent encounter took place at the 2012 Shanghai Masters.
It may not have been the strongest of starts for the defending champion, but he eventually found his range and managed to earn the opening round victory against Portugal’s Joao Sousa in his Halle opener. The Swiss No. 2 beat Sousa 6-7(8), 6-4, 6-2 to book his sport in the quarter-final round of the tournament. After dropping the first set, Federer finally found a break in the second set to lead 4-3, and started his third set with a break to sail to victory in one hour and 50 minutes.
Federer, who is coming off a fourth round exit at Roland Garros, is 44-5 at this event, and is on a five-match winning streak here in Halle.
World No. 48 Yen-Hsun Lu began his week in Halle with a three set victory over Pavic before defating a second Croat earlier on Thursday in Ivo Karlovic. He would defeat the towering obstacle with a pair of tiebreak to set up an intriguing quarter-final against the defending champion.
This is the third time these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour, with Federer leading the series 2-0. The first win took place at the Wimbledon championships in 2009, which Federer won in straight sets. He would add to that record three years later in Shanghai with another straight sets win. Assuming Federer has now adjusted to grass, this should be another relatively comfortable win.
Prediction: Roger Federer in Straight Sets