Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer make a smooth transition from clay to grass with victories at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany on Thursday.
The crowds packed in and the cameras were out as Rafael Nadal began his grass court season at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle.
The Spaniard, who won his seventh French Open title on Monday, continued his terrific form in Germany against Slovakia's Lukas Lacko.
And 11-time Grand Slam winner got his Wimbledon warm up off to a great start with a 7-5, 6-1 victory.
Five-time champion Roger Federer also progressed to the quarter-finals with a straight-sets win over Florian Mayer of Germany.
Federer will meet fifth-seeded Milos Raonic of Canada in the last eight of a tournament he keeps coming back to.
SOUNDBITE: (English) Roger Federer, Gerry Weber Open second seed
"Obviously I've always enjoyed playing on grass ever since I played '98 in Wimbledon and was able to win the juniors back then. That was love at first sight for me with the grass courts. And all my heroes - Sampras, Becker and Edberg, all were so good on this surface that for me it was important to be good on this surface. I've worked very hard at it, and again a lot of it also came natural thanks to my one-handed backhand where I can use my slice, and my fluid movement helps me out as well on this tough court to move around."
In return for his loyalty, Halle honoured Federer's by naming a street after the 30-year-old.
Nadal and Federer progress in HalleFriday, June 15 2012