Roger Federer returned to the court on Monday for the first time since his historic Australian Open victory, dispatching Frenchman Benoit Paire in straight sets in Dubai.
The Swiss is back in action at this week's Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, and picked up where he left off in Melbourne with a comprehensive 6-1, 6-3 victory over his French opponent.
Showing little signs of rust since capturing his 18th Grand Slam title, Federer won nearly 70 per cent of his service points, saving all three break points against him.
Federer broke twice in the first and twice more in the second to wrap up the victory inside an hour.
— Dubai Tennis Champs (@DDFTennis) February 27, 2017
Awaiting him in the next round is the winner of Tuesday's match between Russian duo Mikhail Youzhny and qualifier Evgeny Donskoy.
Federer is already a seven-time champion in Dubai. Should he win again this week it will the first time in his career that he wins an event eight times.
To do so, however, he could well have to deal with top seed Andy Murray and second seed and defending champion Stan Wawrinka in the semi-finals and final.
— Dubai Tennis Champs (@DDFTennis) February 26, 2017
Others to advance on Monday included Spaniards Guillermo Garcia-Lopez and Roberto Bautista-Agut, the former beating Viktor Troicki and the latter taking care of Karen Khachanov. The duo advanced alongside countryman Marcel Granollers-Pujol, who was the day's first winner over Jiri Vesely.
Germany's Phillip Kohlschreiber also booked his place in round two with a 6-4, 7-6 (7-1) victory over Giles Muller.