Federer beats Fritz on return from injury

Thu Jun 9, 2016 2:28pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Roger Federer survived a stern examination by American teenager Taylor Fritz in Stuttgart on Thursday to win his first match since withdrawing from the French Open with a back injury.

The Swiss 17-times grand slam champion resumed leading 4-3 in the opening set after rain curtailed play at the Mercedes Cup the previous day and he eventually prevailed 6-4 5-7 6-4.

Fritz, 18, levelled the match when he converted his fourth set point but Federer edged home in the decider to set up a quarter-final against Florian Mayer.

His victory was his 1,071st on the ATP Tour, taking him joint-second on the all-time match wins list with Ivan Lendl.

Jimmy Connors is the overall leader with 1,256 wins.

"It wasn't easy," Federer told the ATP's website.

"(Fritz) served well and I was a little bit cautious, unsure of how to move and questioning my defence.

"These are the things I will need to iron out."

Top seed Federer has been struggling with injuries this season, requiring knee surgery in February and then nursing a back problem throughout the clay court season.   Continued...

Tennis player Roger Federer arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in Beverly Hills, California February 28, 2016.  REUTERS/Danny Moloshok/File Photo