Roger Federer comeback halted by Tommy Haas in Stuttgart

Roger Federer comeback halted by Tommy Haas in Stuttgart

The second set appeared to be more of the same when Federer went up that aforementioned break at 2-1, but Haas sparked to life and broke right back for 2-2. 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.

Back on the court from a two-and-a-half-month break after winning in Miami, Federer is on the Stuttgart grass-courts, prepping for the Mercedes Cup.

Federer, building up for an assault on an eighth Wimbledon title, hadn't played since March, skipping the entire clay court season.

Federer will play either Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert or German Tommy Haas in the second round at Stuttgart on Wednesday.

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With Nadal ending the clay portion of the season by thrashing Stan Wawrinka to claim his 10th French Open crown, Federer is now preparing to make his comeback as focus shifts towards the grass court swing. Federer reckons his rival, yet good friend, could well finish top of the rankings at the end of the year. Haas put Federer's serve in play and settled into a rally he controlled. He missed both the Olympic Games in Rio and the US Open, among other events, after announcing in July that he needed to undergo "more extensive rehabilitation" following knee surgery. He saved three set points and even hold a match point at 8-7, but Haas then won three points in a row, capped by a shocking Federer double fault to extend the match to a third set in which Haas was airtight on every break point he had to save. Roger is a first-class guy.

Having added the 18th Grand Slam on his resume in January and later the Miami Masters in April, Federer made a decision to skip the French Open to get ready for grass season. "Then we had kids and started to hang out much more", Haas said. "I have great times with him and I am happy to call him my friend".

Federer is the favorite to win today after taking a couple months off. bet365 Sports has him posted at 1.083, while Haas is a steep 8.00 to get the win.

The 39-year-old veteran German has struggled this year too, and failed to get past the second round in any tournament he has taken part in.

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