Roger Federer off to winning start in Dubai as he returns to the court following Australian Open title success

The 18-time Grand Slam champion eased past Benoit Paire and will play the winner of Mikhail Youzhny and Evgeny Donskoy

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The Independent Online

Seven-time Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship winner Roger Federer eased into the second round with a comfortable victory over Benoit Paire.

The Swiss, seeded third, took just 54 minutes as he won 6-1 6-3 in his first competitive outing since winning last month's Australian Open.

Federer's serve was unaffected by the lay-off as he won 70 per cent of his service points and broke his French opponent in both sets twice to set up a meeting with the winner of the all-Russian match between Mikhail Youzhny and qualifier Evgeny Donskoy.

"I think I returned very well for a first round. I was able to get my second serves in deep, was able to go into the offensive quickly," Federer told a press conference.

"I didn't have to move that much. It was very quick rallies so we'll see how that's going to turn out.

"But obviously it couldn't be a better first round for me here in Dubai and I'm glad to be back."

Fourth seed Gael Monfils took 80 minutes to see off Egyptian wildcard Mohamed Safwat, eventually winning 6-4 6-3.

Earlier in the day Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber, who is now two away from a 400th win of his career, dispatched eighth seed Gilles Muller 6-4 7-6 (7/1).

"Hopefully I can achieve the mark here in this tournament. It would be great (and) mean I'm in the semi-finals," he said.

Spaniards Roberto Bautista Agut, Marcel Granollers and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez are all into the second round after victories over Russian Karen Khachanov, the Czech Republic's Jiri Vesely and Serbia's Viktor Troicki respectively.

Federer dropped just four games in beating Paire (Getty)

At the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco, fifth seed David Goffin eased into the second round with a 6-1 6-2 win over Stephane Robert.

He was joined by Steve Johnson who got the better of the eighth-seeded John Isner 6-4 6-4.

Borna Coric comfortably advanced with a 6-1 6-1 win over Lucas Gomez and Adrian Mannarino beat Taylor Fritz in three sets.

And at the Brasil Open in Sao Paolo, Renzo Olivo, Gastao Elias and Guido Pella all went through to the second round with straight-sets victories.

Federer looked in impressive form during his first outing after his Australian Open triumph (Getty)

Meanwhile, Heather Watson saw off the challenge of qualifier Bethanie Mattek-Sands in straight sets to advance to the second round of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco.

Watson struggled with her serve as she double faulted 10 times but broke the American six times on the way to the 7-5 6-3 triumph in Mexico.

The 24-year-old will face second seed Kristina Mladenovic in the second round after she eased to a 6-2 6-3 win over Varvara Lepchenko.