Federer delighted to refind form
It was only his sixth victory since the Australian Open but Roger Federer was all smiles yesterday after beating Benjamin Becker 6-2, 7-6 in his opening match at the Madrid Masters. The Swiss has been struggling for form after illness hampered his spring preparations and admits that he needs more matches under his belt before starting the defence of his title at the French Open, which begins in just 11 days' time.
There did not appear to be much wrong with the world No 1's game as he took just 81 minutes to dispose of his German opponent. Federer quickly found a good rhythm and never looked in danger of being broken. Although sometimes tentative, he struck his ground strokes well, cutting down on the errors that had littered some of his recent matches, and volleyed with his usual assurance.
"I was very happy with the match," he said. "It was clean from the start to the finish. It was good to come through a match like that and finish it off in the tie-breaker."
Federer, who now plays Stanislas Wawrinka or Leonardo Mayer, has not won more than two matches in a row at any of the four tournaments in which he has competed since the Australian Open, where he played what he considered to be some of the best tennis of his career.
Andy Murray will play Juan Ignacio Chela in his opening match today after the 30-year-old Argentine's first-round contest lasted only two games before his opponent, Pablo Cuevas, retired hurt. Murray has won four of his five matches against Chela, but the world No 51 is a useful performer on clay and has climbed back up the rankings after dropping out of the top 200 last year through injury.
Apple agrees deal with Visa on contactless payments
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal offloads fringe players as he looks to the long term
Radamel Falcao transfer latest: Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City linked with blockbuster move
Tottenham to offer Andros Townsend to Southampton in £14m deadline day bid for Jay Rodriguez
Tottenham vs Liverpool player ratings: Who was the star man? Raheem Sterling? Alberto Moreno? Or new-boy Mario Balotelli?
Everton vs Chelsea player ratings: Who was best in the nine-goal thriller at Goodison?
- 1 Is Apple's iCloud safe after leak of Jennifer Lawrence and other celebrities' nude photos?
- 2 Joan Rivers: 'Palestinians deserve to be dead'
- 3 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward