Federer cruises past Devvarman

Playing his first match since a semi-final defeat to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open three weeks ago, World No. 2 Roger Federer breezed through his first-round match at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Tuesday with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Indian Somdev Devvarman.

In his first meeting with recent Johannesburg finalist Devvarman, Federer broke serve three times from seven opportunities and saved both break points he faced to wrap up victory in 75 minutes in front of a packed centre court at the Dubai Tennis Stadium.

“Roger is my idol, one of the greatest players ever,” said Devvarman, who played a Top 10 player for the first time in his career. “I think he serves really well.  I think it's very underrated how good his serve is. Because he does that, I feel like he puts a lot pressure on you when you're serving. It's not like he has too many weaknesses to exploit, so when he feels like he's on a roll, it's really tough to stop him.”

Reflecting on the match, Federer said, “I've had some tough ones over the years here actually in the early round. That's why I don't judge my first rounds too harshly or whatever. It's about coming through and giving yourself a second chance the next day and then kind of move on in the draw. All in all, I think the result is fair. I was able to play aggressive and serve well when I had to, and it was a decent match.”

Federer is chasing his fifth title at the ATP World Tour 500 hard-court tennis tournament. The Swiss has a 26-3 match record at the event, after winning three successive titles from 2003-2005, reaching the final in 2006 and triumphing again in 2007.

Next up for Federer is Spaniard Marcel Granollers, who capitalised on four of 13 break points to cruise past Dmitry Tursunov 6-1, 6-3 in 72 minutes.

Date: 22.02.2011, Source: ATP


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