Rain limits Roger Federer comeback while Rafa Nadal’s Wimbledon return in further doubt

Federer’s return to action lasted just 20 minutes on Wednesday when heavy rain led to an overnight suspension of his opening Stuttgart ATP grasscourt clash against American teenager Taylor Fritz.

Roger Federer, left, and Rafael Nadal are both trying to come back from injuries. EPA/DOMINIC STEINMANN
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Stuttgart, Germany // Roger Federer's return to action lasted just 20 minutes on Wednesday when heavy rain led to an overnight suspension of his opening Stuttgart ATP grasscourt clash against American teenager Taylor Fritz.

Federer was 4-3 ahead when action was halted for the day.

The massive rain dump, which lasted for up to an hour, prevented any more play on the lawns of the Wesissenhof Club before the 34-year-old raced off to a waiting car with security in his wake after tweeting news of the day’s cancellation.

“Unfortunately we can’t play today anymore, too much of this stuff ???????????? See you tomorrow @MercedesCup,” the top seed wrote.

Federer was a break up against his 18-year-old opponent with whom he trained last summer at Wimbledon.

The Swiss veteran was playing for the first time since losing a May 12 match against Dominic Thiem in Rome with a back injury then ruling him out of the French Open.

Federer last competed in Stuttgart a decade and a half ago when it was a Masters event and played indoors.

Fritz is making his debut at the German venue and has never beaten a top 10 player (0-2).

The Thursday programme will feature Federer and Fritz resuming and second seed Marin Cilic, one of three Grand Slam champions in the field along with Federer and Juan Martin del Potro, opening against qualifier Radek Stepanek.

Only two matches were completed on Wednesday before the heavy weather moved in.

German seventh seed Philipp Kohlschreiber enjoyed a 7-5, 6-3 win over Denis Kudla while compatriot Florian Mayer reached the last eight of a tournament for the first time in a year, beating another German, Michael Berrer 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.

Wimbledon doubt as no date yet for Rafa Nadal return

Rafael Nadal's participation at Wimbledon was cast into further doubt on Wednesday when his uncle and coach Toni Nadal said there is no fixed date for the Spaniard's return from a wrist injury.

The former world number one and 14-time Grand Slam title winner pulled out of the French Open after two rounds when he suffered a tendon injury in his wrist.

“He is in the phase of rehabilitation. We haven’t fixed a date for his return because the important thing is that he returns at full strength,” said Toni Nadal at a promotional event.

“We also don’t want to put in danger his participation in the Olympic Games.”

Toni added: “(Rafa) will return when the doctors are convinced that all is going well. He won’t play unless he’s 100 percent.”

Wimbledon, where Nadal has twice been a champion, gets under way on June 27.

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