Federer celebrates 1,500th match with Basel breeze
BASEL, OCT 22: Roger Federer opened his bid for a 10th title at the ATP Swiss indoors in Basel on Monday, crushing German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk in what was the Swiss legend's 1,500th career match.
This landmark 6-2, 6-1 success in his hometown set the 38-year-old up for his tilt at a 103rd title.
"I thought the match was good," Federer said.
"I felt a nice spring in my step. I was quick to the ball and it didn't take me long to get used to the conditions, that's positive.
"There is a danger in playing Peter indoors since he's already had two solid qualifying matches. He also serves great indoors.
"But I was able to control things."
Federer is defending the 2018 title at his hometown event. The victory improved his career record at the tournament to 72-9 and increased his Basel win streak to 21 straight matches.
Federer, who has made the Basel final on all of his last 12 visits, owns ATP titles this season in Dubai, Miami and Halle.
The Monday rout took just 54 minutes with Federer forced to break back in the second set before sprinting to the win.
He will face the winner from Radu Albot and Dusan Lajovic in the second round.
Federer, the winner of the previous two editions, last lost here in the 2013 final to Juan Martin del Potro.
Australian Alex de Minaur beat Bolivian Hugo Dellien 6-1, 7-5, a victory which sends the wild card into a match with the winner from second seed Alexander Zverev and American Taylor Fritz.
Henri Laaksonen knocked out French eighth seed Benoit Paire 6-3, 7-5 for the evening's second Swiss victory and German Jen-Lennard Struff defeated Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia 6-4, 6-2. -AFP