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Federer survives Fritz challenge in Stuttgart

AFP logoAFP 09-06-2016
Switzerland's Roger Federer falls in his round of sixteen match against Taylor Fritz from the USA at the ATP Mercedes Cup tennis tournament in Stuttgart, southwestern Germany, on June 9, 2016. © Provided by AFP Switzerland's Roger Federer falls in his round of sixteen match against Taylor Fritz from the USA at the ATP Mercedes Cup tennis tournament in Stuttgart, southwestern Germany, on June 9, 2016.

Roger Federer made a winning return to tennis after a month away with back pain as he finished off a Stuttgart ATP grass-court match 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 over teenager Taylor Fritz.

The pair were called off court in the second round on Wednesday as heavy rains raked the Weissenhof Club, with the Swiss leading 4-3.

Federer is building for another run at Wimbledon, where he is a seven-time champion.

The world number three is making his first appearance in Stuttgart since 2001, when he played the indoor Masters.

The 34-year-old reached another milestone as his defeat of the young American hopeful marked his 1,071st victory, tying him in second place with Ivan Lendl for the Open era win record.

American Jimmy Connors holds the all-time record of 1,256 victories. Federer will next face German Florian Mayer, a qualifier.

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