Novak Djokovic made a winning debut on Tuesday at the Swiss Indoors as the Serbian claimed a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Andreas Beck in the tennis stronghold of Roger Federer.
Djokovic took just under 90 minutes to move into the second round at the St Jakobshalle, where top seed Federer got his start in the game a decade and a half ago as a ball boy at the indoor event.
Djokovic, who leads the ATP with 67 wins, said he feels the presence of Federer around the grounds.
“Of course in his hometown and home tournament, all of the attention will be on him,” said the Serbian sporting hero. “But I’ve found it fine here.”
“I hope to repay the kindness by going on the court and getting as far as possible this week,” he said.
The player whose only experience in Basel was a qualifying loss in 2004, couldn’t fault his opening main draw effort.
“For a first match [since Shanghai last month] I played well. My strokes were solid but I could have closed it out better in the second set.”
Third-ranked Djokovic delivered ten aces to set up a second-round match with Czech Jan Hernych, who beat Australian qualifier Peter Luczak 6-3, 6-4.
Swiss hopes fared well, with Marco Chiudinelli rallying from a final-set deficit to overhaul German eighth seed Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 7-5.
The Swiss player, ranked 73 in the world, has seen a rise in his fortunes in recent months, reaching the third round of the US Open and also reaching the quarter-finals in Bangkok.
His Basel win in two-and-a-quarter hours was welcome as it ended a run of two successive first round exits in Shanghai and Vienna.
The Swiss pounded down 11 aces to 15 for his German opponent, with Chiudinelli saving 10 of the dozen break points he faced.
The 28-year-old Chiudinelli, who is the third ranked Swiss singles player behind Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka, is making his fifth appearance in Basel, and has now earned his second victory win for a 2-4 record after winning his first match here in five years.
He has qualified seven times this year on the ATP, including four in a row this fall (US Open, Bangkok, Tokyo and Shanghai).
Russian Evgeny Korolev advanced over Italy’s Simone Bolelli 3-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2, while Victor Troicki ended hope of Benjamin Becker 6-2, 7-6 (7/5).
AFP, VALENCIA, SPAIN
Britain’s world No. 4 Andy Murray had an easy return to action on Tuesday as he eased into the second round of the Valencia Open with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over qualifier Daniel Gimeno-Traver of Spain.
The Briton — who has been out of action for the past six weeks — is preparing for the season ending ATP World Tour Finals in London in a campaign which has seen him reach a best ever world ranking of second before slipping back two places. The only concern for Murray — who will also play the Paris Masters next week — is a nagging wrist injury. Murray cruised into a 4-0 lead in the first set of his match against the Spaniard before losing concentration and the next three games — but he never looked back after that taking eight of the next nine matches to close out an easy win.
There were no upsets on the second day of action, with two of the players still chasing down the two available remaining spots for the World Tour Finals, French duo Gilles Simon and Gael Monfils winning their respective matches in straight sets.