Tennis: Roger Federer hands out more punishment to Russia's Mikahil Youzhny

Roger Federer of Switzerland serves to Mikhail Youzhny of Russia during the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis ATP Championships in the United Arab Emirates on Monday. -- PHOTO: EPA
Roger Federer of Switzerland serves to Mikhail Youzhny of Russia during the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis ATP Championships in the United Arab Emirates on Monday. -- PHOTO: EPA

DUBAI (REUTERS) - Roger Federer eased to a 16th consecutive victory over Russia's Mikhail Youzhny to begin his quest for a seventh title at the Dubai Championships on Monday.

The Swiss world number two looked revitalised during a 6-3 6-1 stroll - his first competitive match since a surprise third round defeat by Andreas Seppi at the Australian Open.

Only two head-to-head winning streaks are longer than Federer's over Youzhny - Ivan Lendl's against Tim Mayotte (17) and Rafa Nadal's recently broken one against Tomas Berdych (18) - and Youzhny looked resigned to his fate.

Federer banged down eight aces during a 56-minute exhibition and will face the winner of an all-Spanish clash between Fernando Verdasco and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in round two.

Joining the 33-year-old in the second round of the high-profile event was Denis Istomin who removed struggling fifth seed Ernests Gulbis 7-5 6-2.