Lu into Rd 2, Federer pulls out of Halle tennis

Halle: Taiwan`s Yen-Hsun Lu booked his place in the second round of Halle`s ATP tournament with a 7-6 (7/2), 6-3 win over Finland`s Jarkko Nieminen.

Lu, who reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon last year, finally got into his stride in the second set but admitted the transition from clay to grass is no easy task.

"It was a tough match to start the grass-court season, I know Jarkko is very good on grass," said Lu, who upset Andy Roddick to reach the last eight at Wimbledon last year.

"We were both trying to find a rhythm and get a feel for the grass.”

"It was a high quality match and I am glad I won, there are lots of positives to take.”

"It`s not easy to switch from clay to grass, there is a lot of difference.”

"You are using different muscles, the ball is a lot lower.”

"I have had two days practice, I still have two more weeks (until Wimbledon), so there is plenty of time to get ready."

Lu will play a German in the second round and faces either wild-card Dustin Brown or sixth-seed Florian Mayer.

"For sure, they will want to do well at home and they will have the crowd behind them," said Lu.

"It will help them, but I can`t care about that, I have to focus on my game and not lose my concentration."

However, the tournament suffered a huge blow when later on Monday they lost their main drawcard as top seed and six-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer pulled out.

The 30-year-old Swiss - who had been scheduled to face Australia`s former world number one Lleyton Hewitt in a rematch of last year`s final which the Aussie won - announced he did not want to risk aggravating his delicate groin ahead of Wimbledon later this month.

The 30-year-old - who was due to meet Australia`s former world number one and defending champion Lleyton Hewitt in the second round - said he needed to rest after a gruelling campaign at the French Open, where he lost to Rafael Nadal in four sets in the final.

"My body and especially my groin need a rest after Roland-Garros," he wrote on the tournament`s website.

Seventh-seed Alexandr Dolgopolov of the Ukraine is into the second round after he recovered from losing the first set tie-breaker to beat Holland`s Robin Haase 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-4.

Local favourite Philipp Kohlschreiber is also through after grinding out a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 win over Cedrik-Marcel Stebe in just over two-hours.

In the days other results, Germany`s Tobias Kamke progressed to the second round after compatriot Julian Reister retired injured in the first set.

Russia`s Igor Andreev enjoyed a straight sets win over Potito Starace of Italy, while qualifier Jan Hernych of the Czech Republic made the second round with a hard-fought win in three sets against Sergiy Stakhovsky of the Ukraine.

Fourth-seed Mikhail Youzhny of Russia, who had been due to face Philipp Petzschner of Germany, has pulled out after suffering a foot injury and has been replaced in the draw by lucky loser Dominik Meffert of Germany.

Bureau Report