The World No. 3, who notched his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 win in 2000 at Miami, improved to a 210-65 lifetime record at the ATP’s premier level of tournaments. American Andre Agassi, the previous record holder, compiled a 209-73 mark from 1990-2006.
Federer returned to competition for the first time in more than a month, and was made to work hard in his second-round opener. Chela double faulted to give Federer a break in the sixth game, but prevented the Swiss from serving out the set as he converted on a triple break point opportunity to get back on serve at 5-4. Federer finally sealed the set after putting away his fifth set point of the tie-break.
The second set proved more straightfoward for the third-seeeded Swiss. Federer broke Chela to go up 3-2 and closed out the match in one hour and 21 minutes with another break of serve.
"I thought it was a good match overall," he said. "It's always nice to come back after six weeks and get the win. I think that's really what counts the most tonight. It's normal that you're a bit rusty after six weeks. You have to work your way into playing matches again, even though you play a lot of practice sets and matches."
Federer is looking to win his 17 ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title, and his first since last August at the Western & Southern Financial Group Masters in Cincinnati. He won his two Rogers Cup titles in 2004 and ’06 in Toronto.
This is Federer’s first tournament appearance as the world’s No. 3 player since the 2003 Tennis Masters Cup in Houston, where he ended up winning the title with victory over Andre Agassi in the final.
"Rankings are what they are," said Federer. "You can't control them that much unless you win tournaments. That's not what I have been doing lately, so I know I have to try to do better there. Other guys played well, as well. So they deserve the ranking that everybody has. Rankings usually don't lie, so it's up to me to make a move now."
The Swiss, who celebrated his 29th birthday Sunday, will next face the winner of the Nicolas Almagro-Michael Llodra match.
ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Match Wins Leaders
1. Roger Federer 210-65
2. Andre Agassi 209-73
3. Pete Sampras 190-70
4. Rafael Nadal 180-35
5. Andy Roddick 141-57
Date: 11.08.2010, Source: ATP