Roger Federer opened his campaign for a sixth Swiss Indoors Basel title on Monday with a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Adrian Mannarino. The Swiss has two tournaments left with which to secure his place at the season-ending Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and is currently eighth in the Emirates ATP Race To London.
According to the ATP, the 32-year-old Federer, who was once a ball boy at his hometown tournament, improved to a 48-8 event record as he defeated Mannarino in 71 minutes.
The right-hander let slip an initial service break lead, but reeled off 10 of the last 12 games to improve to 4-0 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with the Frenchman.
“I think it was a pretty good performance for a first round,” said Federer. “I had some good spells and some that were tougher. I fought through and stayed positive throughout. I kept playing aggressive, the way I would like to play for the week.”
Federer is chasing his second ATP World Tour title of the season, having won his 77th trophy at the Gerry Weber Open in June (d. Youzhny). For a place in the Basel quarter-finals, he goes on to face Denis Istomin or Horacio Zeballos.
“Clearly I want to do really well here,” said Federer. “It all kind of started here for me. It’s very special for me. I just need to be careful I don’t put too much pressure on myself. But ever since I was able to win the tournament here in 2006 for the first time, that pressure has kind of gone. Now, it’s about enjoying it.”
Alexandr Dolgopolov needed just 58 minutes to advance, dismissing Kenny De Schepper 6-4, 6-4, winning 80 per cent of his service points. The Ukrainian claimed his 24th win of the season, which includes a semi-final showing at the Winston-Salem Open (l. to Monfils).
Qualifier Tobias Kamke saved seven of eight break points as he defeated Victor Hanescu 6-4, 6-4 in 84 minutes. The German claimed his 17th win of the season, highlighted by quarter-final showings in Dusseldorf (l. to Monaco) and Metz (l. to Tsonga).
World Number 70 Lukasz Kubot defeated Daniel Gimeno-Traver 7-6(6), 6-2 in 88 minutes. The Pole, a quarter-finalist at Wimbledon this season (l. to Janowicz), improved to a 10-19 mark.