Roger Federer to lock horns with Bedene in Halle opener

Halle: World number one Roger Federer will look to begin his campaign at the Halle Open on a promising note when he faces Slovenian Aljaz Bedene in the opening match of the tournament here on Tuesday.

The 36-year-old, who recently won his 98th title by defeating his Canadian opponent Milos Raonic in straight sets in the finals of Stuttgart Open, will spend his second consecutive week on the grass court in the build-up to the third major of the season i.e Wimbledon.

A nine-time Halle Open champion, who recently climbed up to the top ranking for the sixth time in his career, will have to defend the title if he wants to retain the top position.

Heading into the clash, the twenty-time Grand Slam champion holds 100% winning record against World number 72 Bedene as the Swiss maestro comfortably won the only meeting between them at this year’s Australian Open.

Federer had thrashed the Slovenian 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 in the opening round at the Melbourne Park.

The Swiss marvel will look to continue his winning momentum in the tournament and carry the same in the Wimbledon, starting July 2.

In another men’s singles clash, Japan’s Kei Nishikori kicked off his campaign in Halle on winning note as he swept aside Germany’s Matthias Bachinger 6-3, 7-6 (7-3) in a thrilling first-round clash that lasted one hour and 22 minutes.

Nishikori will now face the winner of another opening round match between Germany’s Mischa Zverev and Russia’s Karen Khachanov.