Former world number one Roger Federer made the perfect start to the Dubai Championships with a straightforward 6-1, 6-4 win over Germany’s Benjamin Becker.
The Swiss star, who is aiming to win the tournament for a record sixth time, never looked troubled throughout and wrapped up the first set in just 22 minutes.
World number 90 Becker, who has never won a set against Federer, resisted in the second set but spurned a crucial break point in the final game which allowed his opponent to close out the match and end any slim hopes of a comeback.
It was vintage tennis from Federer, who rolled back the years to break Becker on three occasions and win 76 per-cent of his service points.
And speaking after the game, the fourth seed was in a jubilant mood. “I’m extremely happy with today’s match,” he said.
“Coming out and playing free tennis like that right off the bat is a good feeling.
“I know probably Benjamin (Becker) has been doing a lot of travelling back and forth, Australia, Europe, America, back to Dubai, back for Indian Wells and Miami, but you've got to take advantage of that.
“I have been here for some time. I had good preparation. I’m happy it paid off thus far.”
The 32-year-old is aiming to win a maiden ATP World Tour of the season, having been unsuccessful in assaults on the Brisbane Open and Australian Open in January.
He last won the Dubai showpiece in 2012, beating Andy Murray in the final.
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