Halle Preview: Roger Federer Arrives Focused on Winning Wimbledon

Merlisa Lawrence Corbett@@merlisaFeatured ColumnistJune 10, 2013

Roger Federer Off the Mark at 2013 French Open
Roger Federer Off the Mark at 2013 French OpenClive Brunskill/Getty Images

Roger Federer arrived in Halle, Germany for the Gerry Weber Open, the first of five grass-court tournaments. 

The 17-time Grand Slam champion hopes the grass-court season will be greener than the clay-court circuit he leaves behind. 

Federer lost to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 7-5, 6-3, 6-3, in the quarterfinals of the French Open. He won just four games against Rafael Nadal in the final of the Italian Open. He lost in the third round of the Madrid Open to Kei Nishikori. 

After a lackluster performance at Roland Garros, Federer appears anxious to return to grass. 

Winner of seven Wimbledon titles, Federer plays his best tennis on grass. He has a career 87.3 winning percentage on grass versus 77 percent on clay.  

Federer has won the Halle tournament five times. Repeating will be tough. He is in the same draw as defending champion Tommy Haas, who is experiencing a late-career renewal.

Nadal has withdrawn from the tournament. 

But for No. 3 Federer, Halle is a mere tune-up for the big prize, defending his title at Wimbledon. 

Wimbledon was the last place Federer won a Grand Slam title.

Federer is celebrating the 10th anniversary since he won his first Wimbledon title.

He said, via the Agence France-Presse (h/t sports.ndtv.com)

I love the grass-court season. Especially as it's been 10 years since my first Wimbledon victory...So I'm looking forward to coming back to Halle and Wimbledon, where I did the double 10 years ago. I'm sure it's going to be a nice swing.

Federer had hoped to add another French Open title to his record 17 Grand Slam wins. 

He also noted, "What's happened in Paris is already pretty much past now. I have no choice but to move on."

Federer's loss to Nadal in Rome marked his only appearance in a tournament final this year.

Still, grass is for Federer what clay is for Nadal.  It's where his talent and skills shine. 

Halle begins Federer's chance to redeem himself and silence the chatter about his imminent decline. 

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