Stuttgart, Germany, 17 June 2018 |

Nick Kyrgios’ return to singles action after a two month lay-off has ended with a tight three-set loss to Swiss champion Roger Federer in the Stuttgart semifinals.

Federer recorded a hard-fought 6-7(2) 6-2 7-6(5) victory in one hour, 51 minutes. The result propels the 20-time Grand Slam champion back to world No.1, overtaking Rafael Nadal in the top position.

“I’m very relieved because I knew it was a tough match against Nick,” said Federer.

“We’ve played so many breakers and it could have gone either way.”

Kyrgios hit 23 aces in the loss, a positive sign his elbow injury won’t prevent him from being a threat at Wimbledon next month.

Meanwhile in s-Hertogenbosch, the hopes of an all-Australian final were dashed with both Bernard Tomic and Matthew Ebden defeated in the semifinals.

Tomic, a No.181-ranked qualifer playing his first ATP-level semifinal in two years, pushed world No.30 Richard Gasquet to three sets. The Frenchman won 6-4 6-7(6) 6-2.

Ebden also lost to a Frenchman, with Jeremy Chardy posting a 6-4 7-5 win.

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