Top seed Roger Federer struggled in his first match since his Wimbledon humiliation when he had to come back from a set down to defeat Daniel Brands in his Hamburg opener on Wednesday.
Federer won 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 against the world No. 58, who was celebrating his 26th birthday, to reach the third round of a tournament he last played in 2008.
The victory over the German was his 30th career win at the tournament.
“I think it was good for me to have a tough match like this and come through at the end,” Federer said.
“Clearly these kind of matches are always important, especially losing the first set makes things difficult,” he said. “You’re not allowed to make many more unforced errors in crucial moments and I was able to come through and play better as the match went on. That’s always encouraging for the next round.”
Federer is using this event and the Gstaad tournament, which starts on Monday, to bounce back from his shock Wimbledon exit ahead of next month’s US Open.
Federer crashed out of Wimbledon at the hands of Ukraine’s 116-ranked Sergiy Stakhovsky in his worst Grand Slam defeat for a decade.
The second round loss ended his run of 36 consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final appearances, having not gone out of a major before the last eight since the 2004 French Open.
Federer’s next opponent, Jan Hajek, reached the third round with a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 win over Latvian 15th seed, Ernests Gulbis.
Tommy Haas, who first competed at Hamburg in 1997, will play in-form Carlos Berlocq in the third round.
Second seed Haas was made to work hard for a 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 victory over qualifier Blaz Kavcic of Slovenia. Last week’s Swedish Open champion, Berlocq, continued his run of form by beating Slovak 16th seed Martin Klizan 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7/5).
Argentine fifth seed Juan Monaco got his title defense off to a winning start when he beat Gael Monfils 6-4, 6-4 in 73 minutes for a place in the third round. Qualifier and world No. 114 Federico Delbonis held his nerve to knock out 2006 champion Tommy Robredo, the 10th seed, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez improved to 5-1 in his head-to-head record against 13th seed Mikhail Youzhny in a 6-3, 6-7 (3/7), 6-2 win. Youzhny saved six match points in the second set.
AP, BOGOTA, Colombia
Second seed Kevin Anderson of South Africa defeated Emilio Gomez of Ecuador 6-3, 7-6 (7/2) to reach the third round of the Claro Open Colombia in Bogota on Wednesday.
Joining him were Ivo Karlovic of Croatia who beat No. 3 seed Igor Sijsling of the Netherlands, 6-3, 7-6 (14/12) and fifth seed Adrian Mannarino of France who downed Victor Estrella Burgos of the Dominican Republic. Home favorite Santiago Giraldo of Colombia was another winner, bouncing back to defeat Chris Guccione of Australia in three sets.
In the first round of the doubles Marcelo Arevalo of El Salvador and Estrella Burgos beat Jimmy Wang of Taiwan and Ukraine’s Denys Molchanov 6-3, 7-6 (7/4).
Additional reporting by staff writer