DUBAI (REUTERS) - Roger Federer breezed back into action to reach the second round of the Dubai Open with a straightforward 6-1 6-3 win over erratic Frenchman Benoit Paire on Monday (Feb 27, 2017).
In his first match since memorably claiming his 18th grand slam title by beating Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open a month ago, the 35-year-old was immediately back in the old routine to give Paire the runaround.
There was precious little resistance from the Frenchman as Swiss maestro Federer, the seven-times champion and third seed, delighted a large Centre Court crowd with flashes of brilliance.
Paire was warned for unsportsmanlike behaviour at one point after hurling his racket and also needed treatment on a foot injury. Federer claimed victory in less than an hour.
"I think I returned very well for a first round. I was able to get my second serves in deep, was able to go into the offensive quickly," Federer, who does much of his training in Dubai, told a news conference. "Didn't have to move that much. It was very quick rallies. So we'll see how that's going to turn out. But obviously couldn't be a better first round for me here in Dubai."
Top seed and world number one Andy Murray also returns after a lengthy layoff, which included a bout of shingles, when he takes on Tunisia's Malek Jaziri on Tuesday.