Stuttgart : Roger Federer was made to battle after a losing first set as the Swiss star made his long-awaited return to tennis today with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 defeat of Mischa Zverev at the Stuttgart Cup. The world number two shook off the rust against his German opponent after a poor start, breaking twice  in the second and third sets to earn victory in 93 minutes.

The 20-time Grand Slam winner, who exited in his opening match at the grass court season curtain-raiser a year ago to friend Tommy Haas, can displace Rafael Nadal from the world’s top ranking spot if he reaches Sunday’s final.

“I’m happy to have won a match after losing my last two [Indian Wells, Miami in March],”  Federer said after completing a victory.

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