Improving Roger Federer beats Mischa Zverev to reach Halle Open quarter-finals

Roger Federer advanced to the quarter-finals of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle after downing Germany's Mischa Zverev 7-6 (7-4) 6-4.

Federer faces defending champion Florian Mayer in the last eight after the German recovered from a set down to beat sixth seed Lucas Pouille 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 6-3 earlier on Thursday.

Federer, the 18-time Grand Slam title victor who is building up for an assault on an eighth Wimbledon title next month, next faces 2016 Halle champion Florian Mayer for a place in the semi-finals.

Zverev's erratic first serve was a liability and Federer pounced again at 4-4 in the second set to break the German, whose younger brother Alexander is through to the quarter-finals, and served out the match.

The second set went with serve until Federer scampered across to fire a forehand at the body of Zverev, which he had no chance of returning and the Swiss broke to lead 5-4 before serving out the match as he eyes a fourth title of the year with Wimbledon fast approaching. "He hasn't had the best season so far, so there is a lot riding on the match for him as well as for me because we both want to go deep into this tournament", ATP's official website quoted Federer as saying.

The third seed needed to take a medical time-out against Karen Khachanov to treat a back injury before playing on for a few points and retiring with the Russian leading 3-2 in the first set.

Murray's defeat ended his 14-match winning streak on grass and his 10-match unbeaten run at Queen's Club, a warm-up event to Wimbledon.

  • Julie Sanders