Federer eases through at Halle

Roger Federer is through to the last eight at the Halle Open, Germany.

Story highlights

  • Roger Federer wins opening match at Halle Open in Germany
  • The 17-time grand slam winner yet to pick up a title this year
  • Gael Monfils withdraws from Wimbledon for personal reasons
  • Lleyton Hewitt shocks Grigor Dimitrov at Queen's Club

Roger Federer began preparations for the defense of his Wimbledon title by cruising into the quarterfinals with a crushing victory over German wildcard Cedrik-Marcel Stebe at the Halle Open Wednesday.

The 17-time grand slam winner needed just 67 minutes to record a 6-3 6-3 win in his first outing since losing to France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the quarterfinal stage of the French Open.

Federer suffered defeat playing alongside Tommy Haas in the doubles on Monday but bounced back in comfortable fashion.

"I was satisfied with my performance even if there were things I could have done better," the world number three told reporters.

"I hope to get stronger with each match."

Federer, 31, has not won a single title this season and is keen to get to add to the five crowns he has already won at the German tournament.

Federer: Do more drug testing
Federer: Do more drug testing

    JUST WATCHED

    Federer: Do more drug testing

MUST WATCH

Federer: Do more drug testing 03:19
Ivanovic targets more French titles
Ivanovic targets more French titles

    JUST WATCHED

    Ivanovic targets more French titles

MUST WATCH

Ivanovic targets more French titles 00:50
On the court with 'Baby Federer'
On the court with 'Baby Federer'

    JUST WATCHED

    On the court with 'Baby Federer'

MUST WATCH

On the court with 'Baby Federer' 01:12

The Swiss ace has reached the final seven times, winning five of those between 2003-2008, while he lost out in 2010 to Lleyton Hewitt, and to Germany's Haas last year.

"Any title is good for your confidence," he added.

"I want to be in the best position to do well here in Halle then at Wimbledon. I feel that my best chance is here."

Read: Record eighth title for Nadal

Federer will face German Mischa Zverev, ranked 156 in the world, in the next round.

One man who won't be playing at Wimbledon is France's Gael Monfils, who has withdrawn from the tournament for personal reasons.

"I've withdrawn my request for a wildcard because I've got a small personal problem to sort out during the coming week," he told reporters following his second round win over Jan Hernych in Halle.

"Something unexpected has come up in the first week of Wimbledon."

Monfils, ranked 67 in the world, is expected to compete at the Stuttgart clay-court tournament which starts on July 8.

Read: 'Joy of writing' helps Seles

What the French Open means to Li Na
What the French Open means to Li Na

    JUST WATCHED

    What the French Open means to Li Na

MUST WATCH

What the French Open means to Li Na 01:31

Elsewhere at Halle, Japan's Kei Nishikori suffered a shock three-set defeat by Russia' Mikhail Youzhny.

The Russian, 30, claimed a surprise 6-1 6-7 6-3 win after a battle which lasted over two hours.

Meanwhile, former World No.1 Lleyton Hewitt pulled off an impressive straight sets win over Bulgaria's rising star Grigor Dimitrov at Queen's Club in London.

Hewitt, who won at Wimbledon in 2002, prevailed 6-4 6-3 in just 68 minutes.

"Today's victory is going to help me immensely," he told the ATP website.

"I feel like in practice, I have been hitting the ball great. It was just a matter of doing it on the match court.

"My first match wasn't pretty, but I fought hard and got through it. That's what I needed to do. Then today it was a classy performance."

Hewitt will play 2010 winner Sam Querrey for a place in the quarterfinals.

Elsewhere, there were victories for Tomas Berdych, Alexandr Dolgopolov and British wild card Dan Evans.

Andy Murray's match against Nicolas Mahut was suspended because of rain after the Briton had taken the first set 6-3.

        Tennis

      • Rafael Nadal of Spain watches the ball in his match against Martin Klizan of Slovakia during during day seven of the China Open at the National Tennis Center on October 3, 2014 in Beijing, China.

        What does 2015 hold for Rafa?

        Rafael Nadal's body might be giving him a few problems, but his mind remains as strong as ever. Will the Spaniard add to his haul of 14 grand slam titles?
      • LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17: Wimbledon champion Andy Murray and his long time girlfriend Kim Sears arrive at Buckingham Palace on October 17, in London, England. Murray will become an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and receive his medal from the Duke of Cambridge. (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

        Love game: Andy Murray to tie knot

        The Scot has served up a few changes to his support team in 2014 but there's one person who isn't going anywhere -- his new fiancée Kim Sears.
      • Despite being forced to retire at the age of 24 due to health problems, Lacoste remained in the game and went on start the "Lacoste" brand in 1933, which specialised in tennis products. The inspiration for the company's logo came from his nickname as a player, "le crocodile."

        'Crocodile' who broke all the rules

        His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
      • Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

        Serena savors U.S. Open win

        Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
      • American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.

        The amazing life of Althea Gibson

        Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
      • Courting couple at match point

        "I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
      • LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 03: Tennis / Frauen: Wimbledon 2004, London; Finale; Siegerin Maria SHARAPOVA / RUS 03.07.04. (Photo by Bongarts/Bongarts/Getty Images)

        'Baby' Sharapova's big moment

        It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
      • 'Swiss Miss' follows mom's lead

        Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.