It was after last year's Wimbledon that Roger Federer decided to take a break from the sport and attend to his injury concerns. The move worked wonders as the Swiss giant ended his four-year Grand Slam title drought at Australian Open earlier in January.
Federer went on to prove that the hard-fought win over nemesis Rafael Nadal in Melbourne was not a flash in the pan with a Sunshine Double this season. The 18-time Grand Slam champion has now decided to take another break -- this time from action on the red dirt.
The Stuttgart return had not gone as planned as he was ousted in the first round last month. However, Federer bounced back and raced to title in Halle, beating young German Alexander Zverev in the final.
On Saturday, July 8, Federer, one of the title favourites at Wimbledon 2017, will be playing his third-round match against Alexander's brother Mischa -- the world number 35 who has beaten Bernard Tomic and Mikhail Kukushkin in his first appearance in the main draw since 2011.
If statistics are anything to go by, Federer is going to have it easy against Mischa, against whom he has never lost in four meetings -- two wins on grass. Time and again, the 29-year-old German had been tamed by the Swiss legend.
Notably, at this year's Australian Open, Mischa had a dream run to the quarter-final after he had put on a serve-and-volley masterclass to defeat world number one Andy Murray in the R16 round. However, he ran into an unstoppable Federer, who clinched the last-eight match 6-1, 7-5, 6-2.
At Halle, Federer was tested in the first set, but he buckled up and took the R16 match 7-6(4), 6-4. Mischa had been effective against top-ranked players as he had troubled them with his serve-and-volley approach. However, the 35-year-old champion has hardly had any troubles negating the southpaw's advantage.
Federer though was not willing to take Mischa lightly and said he would train with a left-handed to prepare himself for today's clash.
"I have played him [Mischa] on several occasions now, and he's played me differently every time. So I guess I don't know quite what to expect in the match on Saturday. But, yeah, because he serves and volleys, points are played differently," Federer said after his straight-set win over Dusan Lajovic on Thursday.
He added: "Tomorrow and the next day I will train and warm up with left- handed players. I think that's the biggest switch always when you play against an opponent who is left-handed, that whole swinging serve, kicking serve, especially getting used to the returning, you know, is most important."
When and where to watch live
Federer vs Mischa is the third match on Centre Court on Saturday. The first match begins at 1 pm BST, 5.30 pm IST. Live Streaming and TV information is below.
India: TV: Star Sports Select 1HD. Live Streaming: Hotstar.
UK: TV: BBC One and BBC Two. Live Streaming: BBC iPlayer.
USA: TV: ESPN. Live streaming: Watch ESPN.
Australia: TV: Fox Sports. Live Streaming: Foxtel.
France and Middle East: TV: Bein Sports. Live Streaming: Bein Sports Connect.
Canada: TV: CTV and TSN. Live Streaming: TSN TV.
Italy: TV: Sky Italia. Live streaming: Sky Go
Asia: TV: Fox Sports Asia. Live Streaming: Fox Sports Play Asia.
China: TV: Beijing TV.