ROTTERDAM (Feb. 13, 2013) — In just his first match after the Australian Open, defending champion Roger Federer dispatched of Slovene Grega Zemlja 6-3, 6-1 in just under an hour.
“I love playing here,” stated Federer after his match. “Last year I received a great welcome in this stadium after a long absence. And I won the tournament for a second time, it was a wonderful experience.”
And he’s already looked forward to his third round match against Thiemo De Bakker. “I will not underestimate him. He is an excellent player and with support of his home crowd he will probably step up his game.”
In other singles news, 21-year-old Grigor Dimitrov lost only four points on his first serve, defeating Nikolay Davydenko, 7-5, 6-3.
Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis also progressed as Benoit Paire was forced to retire at 6-0, 6-7(3), 4-0 with back trouble and sickness.
N0. 4 seed Richard Gasquet also notched his sixteenth win of the season by defeating Viktor Troicki, 7-6(3), 6-1.
“The victory in the tiebreak was crucial”, stated Gasquet. “At 5-3 I got one set point, but still lost my service. Luckily I kept fighting. It would have been very bitter if I had not won that set. But with the advantage of that set win, I got more confident.”
(Gallery by Tennis Grandstand photographer Rick Gleijm.)