Roger Federer opens bid for sixth title with win
BASEL, Switzerland (AFP) - Roger Federer began his bid for a sixth title at the Swiss Indoors by beating substitute opponent Benjamin Becker 7-5, 6-3 on Monday to reach the second round.
The German ranked 83rd with one career title had replaced injured Frenchman Jeremy Chardy as the first opponent for the Swiss home hero and world number one.
Federer, who has won five of the last six editions at the St Jakobshalle where he got his start in tennis as a ballboy at the tournament almost two decades ago, needed to work to get past the persistent Becker, whom he beat in their last two meetings, the last in 2010.
"I was well-prepared to play Becker instead of Chardy," said Federer, bidding for his 77th career title this week and after more than 300 weeks spent as the ATP number one.