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Roger Federer marches into Halle quarter-finals after downing Mischa Zverev

Roger Federer advanced to the quarter-finals of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle after downing Germany’s Mischa Zverev 7-6 (7-4) 6-4.

Andy Murray’s early Queen’s exit has seen Federer installed as favourite for Wimbledon glory, and the 18-time Grand Slam champion secured a top-four seeding for the tournament with victory over the world No 29.

Zverev managed to stick by Federer early on – having lost their last grass-court meeting 6-0 6-0 – but the Swiss turned the screw on the German’s serve in a marathon tenth game.

However, three set points came and went for Federer – in what were also his first break-point opportunities of the match – and Zverev held after a 10-minute exchange to level at 5-5.

The pair won their respective service games to take the opening set to a tie-break, and it was Federer who prevailed 7-4 after hitting two sublime winners on the Zverev serve.

However, three set points came and went for Federer – in what were also his first break-point opportunities of the match – and Zverev held after a 10-minute exchange to level at 5-5.

The pair won their respective service games to take the opening set to a tie-break, and it was Federer who prevailed 7-4 after hitting two sublime winners on the Zverev serve.

They continued to go toe-to-toe in the second set, but Federer got the decisive break in the ninth game, and went on to serve out for the match in the tenth.

Federer faces defending champion Florian Mayer in the last eight after the German recovered from a set down to beat sixth seed Lucas Pouille 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 6-3 earlier on Thursday.

Elsewhere in Halle, Kei Nishikori retired from the tournament for the third year in a row after sustaining a hip injury in his match against Karen Khachanov.

Nishikori withdrew with the score at 3-2 in the first set, allowing Khachanov for an easy route into the quarter-finals.

Standing in the 21-year-old’s way of a semi-final spot is fellow Russian Andrey Rublev, who beat compatriot Mikhail Youzhny 6-0 3-6 6-3 in their second-round encounter.