Federer back to winning ways

ROME • Roger Federer made a winning return after last week's back pain, the Swiss tennis icon beating Germany's Alexander Zverev 6-3, 7-5 in the second round of the Rome Masters yesterday.

The match, lasting 89 minutes, was the first for the 34-year-old since losing his Monte Carlo quarter-final to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga nearly a month ago.

Elsewhere, world No. 1 Novak Djokovic had to battle hard to claim a 7-5, 7-5 victory over Stephane Robert, while Andy Murray defeated Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3, 6-3.

Earlier on Tuesday, Murray and Ivan Lendl distanced themselves from a reunion as the Scot began his search for a new coach.

He split with Amelie Mauresmo on Monday after the Frenchwoman was unable to dedicate enough time to his cause.

Lendl stood down from the same role more than two years ago after guiding Murray to US Open and Wimbledon titles, because he could not commit to the 25 weeks that the Scot required.

However, Murray said on Tuesday: "I loved working with Ivan and had great results with him." The world No. 3 added that former players are often unable to dedicate the required amount of time.

Lendl, 56, said: "I understand the speculation part but feel many people get too caught up in it."



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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 12, 2016, with the headline 'Federer back to winning ways'. Subscribe