Halle, Germany: Roger Federer warmed up for Wimbledon by easing to victory in the second round on the Halle grass on Thursday, as he returns from a back injury that has disrupted his season.
The world number three, who dropped out of last month's French Open, had little trouble swatting aside Tunisia's Malek Jaziri, 6-3, 7-5, and next faces Belgium's David Goffin.
Federer, who is in the twilight of a sparkling career and turns 35 in August, is chasing a ninth title in Halle, Germany.
He has yet to win a title in 2016, his longest drought to start a year since he went title-less in 2000.
"I thought he was reading my serve throughout the first set. So, I started to serve a little bit different in the second set. I was having more success that way," said Federer who will be playing in a 14th Halle quarter-final.
"I was happy to come through a tough match because I thought he's tough to play against. I struggled to read his technique, the way he gets into the ball I can't really tell where he goes and I remember that from the last time I played him in Dubai, I remembered there was something but not until I got on the court. So, it was tough. I think he's a good player.
"I wish I could have played maybe a bit better at times but I must put it down to my opponent keeping me off balance as well. He was doing a really nice job of making me feel uncomfortable for a while."
Goffin set up the meeting with Federer after Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky retired from their clash when trailing 4-6, 7-5, 2-0.
Federer leads Goffin 4-0 in their career head-to-heads, including a 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 win in this year's Australian Open fourth round.
Also into the next round is home hope Philipp Kohlschreiber, the eighth seed, who beat Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 6-7 (7/9), 6-4, 7-5.
The indefatigable Kohlschreiber was playing for a 10th straight day.
He won the Halle title in 2011 and next faces Austrian third seed Dominic Thiem who defeated Russia's Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-4, 6-1 for his 46th win of 2016.
Thiem beat Kohlschreiber in the Stuttgart final on Monday.
Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.
Updated Date: Jun 17, 2016 11:03:43 IST