Roger Federer admits he is raring to go as he prepares to head back into action following his break from the game. The cropped do is a far cry from the ponytailed look of his youth, and a departure from the flowing locks that he has sported over the last few years. He is set to compete in the Mercedes Cup and will be up against Tommy Haas in his first match.
The Swiss later competed in Dubai and sealed a sunshine double in Miami and Indian Wells before announcing that he would be skipping Roland Garros for the second successive year and sitting out the entire clay-court season as part of an attempt to prolong his illustrious career.
And sixth seed Mischa Zverev was the third German to book his place in round three on Wednesday after a 7-6 (7/1) 6-2 win over compatriot Yannick Hanfmann.
The Queen's Club event is one of the major grass-court tournaments leading up to Wimbledon.
Nadal's clay-court domination culminated in a tenth French Open crown and now, following a 10-week lay-off, all eyes will be on Federer in Germany over the next fortnight as he battles it out for top honours once again. Haas put Federer's serve in play and settled into a rally he controlled. The 2-6 7-6 6-4 defeat marked his first opening round loss on grass in 15 years. "There are no more breaks now", Federer told the official ATP website on Monday. He said he was happy with his first round performance and described his next opponent as a first-class guy.
Haal had this to say, "We have known each other for a very long time". There are a lot of emotions when you are playing a close friend.
"We used to have the same agent, Tony Godsick, who is a very close friend of mine, so it was always an easy connection". The competition at Wimbledon is going to be much better that Haas, with all due respect.
The 39-year-old German, now ranked 302, came through against Frenchman Herbert 6-3 4-6 7-5 to set up a showdown with the Swiss, who received a bye into the second round.