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Federer enjoys effortless homecoming

Written by: Staff

BASEL, Switzerland, Oct 24 (Reuters) World number one Roger Federer made an emphatic start in his hometown tournament today, beating Czech qualifier Tomas Zib 6-1 6-2 in the first round of the Swiss Indoors.

The nine-times grand slam champion is still seeking his first Basel title although he looks set to rectify that anomaly this week.

Rarely having to stretch himself against an opponent ranked 151st in the world, Federer raced through the opening set in 20 minutes after breaking Zib twice and dropping just three points on his own serve.

Federer showed little sign of tiredness from his successful exertions at last week's Madrid Masters and was also seemingly untroubled by the slight ankle strain picked up during Sunday's win over Fernando Gonzalez.

The opening four games of the second set went with serve but that owed more to Federer's growing impatience than to any marked improvement on Zib's part After hitting a few wayward unforced errors, the Swiss found his rhythm once again to take the last five games of the match.

''I'm very happy with that, logically,'' Federer said in an on-court interview immediately after the match.

''I'm surprised at how quickly it went because I have had to adapt quite fast to the differences of the surface but it seems like I'm hitting the ball pretty good.

''A lot has changed since I first reached the final here in 2000 and I'm obviously a lot more experienced now. But there are always little things I want to keep working on so I'm going to carry on training hard.'' Federer's next opponent will be 75th ranked Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, who also enjoyed victory over a qualifier today when he beat Germany's Julian Reister 7-6 6-2.

Reuters PDS VP0145

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