Roger Federer advanced to the quarter-finals of the bet-at-home Open – German Tennis Championships in Hamburg on Thursday, after defeating Jan Hajek 6-4, 6-3 in the third-round.
The Swiss is playing his first tournament since dropping to fifth in the world rankings last week, his lowest position in over a decade, after his shock second round loss to Sergiy Stakhovsky at Wimbledon in June.
But the 17-time Grand Slam champion made things difficult for himself on the clay-court surface, as he needed five match points to see off his Czech opponent.
He will next face home player Florian Mayer in the last eight. Mayer came through his contest against eleventh seeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez 7-6, 6-2.
Federer, who has won the tournament three times previously, could face Wimbledon quarter-finalist Fernando Verdasco in the semi-finals.
The 31-year-old feels he is growing in confidence as the tournament progresses.
He said to atpworldtour.com: “I’m just still looking for the timing and the rhythm here, but the longer I stay in the tournament, the more confident I am that I’m going to play better and better as the tournament goes on.”
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