Top seed Roger Federer got off to a winning start on his Mercedes Cup debut on Thursday when he defeated 18-year-old Next Generation star Taylor Fritz 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 for a quarter-final clash againstFlorian Mayer.

The match resumed with Federer leading Fritz 4-3, following a rain suspension overnight. Fritz, who had previously played two Top 10 players, converted his fourth set point opportunity in the 12th game of the second set.

Federer, who is playing his first match since an Internazionali BNL d’Italia third-round exit to Dominic Thiem on 12 May, has now drawn level with Ivan Lendl on 1,071 victories, for the second-most match win in the Open Era (since May 1968). Jimmy Connors is the overall leader with 1,256 victories.

OPEN ERA MATCH WINS LEADERS

Player
Match Wins
1) Jimmy Connors (USA)
1,256
2=) Ivan Lendl (CZE/USA)
1,071
2=) Roger Federer (SUI)
1,071
4) Guillermo Vilas (ARG)
929
5) John McEnroe (USA)
877
6) Andre Agassi (USA)
870
7) Stefan Edberg (SWE)
801
8) Rafael Nadal (ESP)
796
9) Ilie Nastase (ROU)
780
10) Pete Sampras (USA)
762

Earlier in the day, third seed Thiem recorded his first victory as a Top 10 player when he withstood 21 aces from Sam Groth in a 7-6(3), 7-6(2) win over one hour and 31 minutes. The 22-year-old Austrian moved from No. 15 to No. 7 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, after a Roland Garros semi-final run (l. toNovak Djokovic).

Thiem will next take on Mikhail Youzhny, who knocked out qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky 7-3, 7-6(1) in 81 minutes.

Fourth seed Gilles Simon lost only eight of his first service points to advance with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 victory over Jan-Lennard Struff in one hour and 41 minutes.