Several of the biggest names in tennis are back on court this week on the ATP circuit. Today, in his birth city of Basel, Roger Federer had little trouble dispatching Alexander Dolgopolov. Federer was ahead in the match 6-4, 5-2 when the Russian injured his right ankle forcing him to retire.
“I was able to mix it up well and come out and really play a great first round for a tournament where I face a lot of pressure, with all the history I’ve had here,” said Federer who lost just four points on serve. “I’m really happy with the way I played, moved, felt out there. It’s nice to be back on centre court here in Basel.”
Federer has three titles at Basel, a tournament where he once was a ballboy as a youth.
“To me it’s always one of the nicest parts of the season,” Federer said. “Obviously in terms of importance we’ve got the Slams and everything everybody talks about, but in terms of emotion this is obviously high up there, if not No. 1. I love this tournament more than any other almost, and it’s wonderful to me.”
Federer will play the Janko Tipsarevic-Denis Istomin victory in the second round likely on Wednesday.
No. 8 seed John Isner was also a winner Monday. No. 2 seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic is on tomorrow in a good one against Ernests Gulbis. Andy Roddick and Sam Querrey will play their first round battle on Wednesday.
In Valencia, Fernando Verdasco broke out of a four-match losing skid with a 6-4, 6-1 win over American qualifier Michael Russell.The Spaniard now plays Gilles Simon who also was a winner on Monday. Stan Wawrinka, who curiously is not playing in Switzerland this week, won his first rounder on Monday.
On Tuesday, top seed Andy Murray and Shanghai winner opens against Feliciano Lopez. The Scot is 3-0 career against Lopez. Also in action are Nikolay Davydenko, Robin Soderling and former champ David Ferrer.
Weekend winner Gael Monfils will play on Wednesday, while he countryman JW Tsonga withdrew with continued knee problems.
TUESDAY BASEL SCHEDULE
CENTRE COURT start 2:00 pm
J Tipsarevic (SRB) vs D Istomin (UZB)
Not Before 4:00 PM
Y Lu (TPE) vs R Gasquet (FRA)
Not Before 6:00 PM
E Gulbis (LAT) vs  N Djokovic (SRB)
Not Before 8:00 PM
[WC] M Chiudinelli (SUI) vs  M Cilic (CRO)
[Q] J Hajek (CZE) vs D Nalbandian (ARG)
TUESDAY VALENCIA SCHEDULE
AGORA start 1:00 pm
N Almagro (ESP) vs D Gimeno-Traver (ESP)
 A Murray (GBR) vs F Lopez (ESP)
G Garcia-Lopez (ESP) vs  D Ferrer (ESP)
A Montanes (ESP) vs  R Soderling (SWE)
[WC] J Marti (ESP) vs  N Davydenko (RUS)
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Federer, Murray, Roddick Headline Paris Wednesday
Roddick, Murray, Nadal, Djokovic Winners Tuesday; Sharapova a Loser