Swiss maestro Roger Federer knocked out Frenchman Benoit Paire in a straightforward 6-1 6-3 match, which lasted just 54 minutes at the Dubai Duty-Free Tennis Championships.
The victorious match, which puts Federer into the second round of the tournament is his first match since winning his 18th Grand Slam title at the Australian Open, where he silenced Rafael Nadal in the final.
The 35-year-old is on a quest for a record eighth Dubai Championships title, making this his 13th appearance in Dubai. Previously, Federer has won his seven titles in 2003-2005, 2007, 2012 and 2014-15 editions of the event.
The third-seeded waited just 12 minutes to make a breakthrough as he broke Paire at love to lead 3-1 into the first set but then had to hang back three break points in the next game. At 4-1 when Paire had his right ankle fixed, Federer broke again to lead 5-1 and serve out the set.
In the second set, a break at 3-2 cleared the way for a hassle free 54-minute victory.
Federer pondering on his game said that there were some break points to be saved and admitted he returned very well for a first round and was able to get his second serves in deep as well as was able to go on the offensive quickly.
He added that the serve, in the beginning, was a bit off. But he thinks also playing at night here[Dubai] for the first time it’s always just a different ball when one toss it up with the lights and everything. So that’s going to get better as he progresses in the tournament. However, he admitted that it couldn’t be a better first round for him here in Dubai.
Federer, who missed last year’s tournament due to a knee injury will face Mikhail Youzhny or Evgeny Donskoy in the next round.