Federer outclasses Paire in Dubai


Roger Federer continued where he left off in Melbourne by hammering Benoit Paire in the first round of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Monday.

Playing in his first tournament since his sensational Australian Open victory last month, the Swiss master took only 54 minutes to finish off Paire 6-1 6-3.

The 18-time grand slam champion said he is still a "work in progress" and will have to see how his fitness holds up in the metropolis this week, but showed no signs that he might struggle on day one of a tournament he has won a record seven times.

Third seed Federer has now won 48 and lost five of his matches in the ATP 500 event after breaking twice in each set to set up a second-round meeting with Mikhail Youzhny or Evgeny Donskoy.

Federer, who could face Andy Murray in the semi-finals, won almost 70 per cent of his service points, revelling in playing on such a quick court as Paire was unable to live with the world number 10.

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez will face Murray in round two if the world number one beats Malek Jaziri after the Spaniard ousted Viktor Troicki 6-4 6-3.

Garcia-Lopez fought back from 4-2 down in the first set and broke twice in the second to seal his passage into the second round.

Philipp Kohlschreiber is just two victories away from 400 in his career after defeating eighth seed Gilles Muller 6-4 7-6 (7-1), while Roberto Bautista Agut and Marcel Granollers ensured there were three Spanish winners on the day by beating Karen Khachanov and Jiri Vesely respectively.

Fourth seed Gael Monfils also breezed into the last 16 with a 6-4 6-3 win over wildcard Mohamed Safwat.