Top tennis draws Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal both breezed today in early round play in Basel. Playing in his first match, home favorite and 5-time tournament champion Federer blew out Gilles Muller 6-1, 6-2 in just 47 minutes.
“I am very happy with how the first round went here,” said Federer. “It was totally different to Shanghai, when I saved five match points [v Mayer]. This time around, I was really in control from the get-go. I hope I can keep this level up.”
Federer plays tomorrow against Denis Istomin. “He really imposes his game, with a big forehand, backhand and serve,” said Federer of the Uzbek. “He can be dangerous on return too. I have to be sharp on my own service games, which was a problem here against him last year.”
In addition to seeking a sixth Basel title, Federer is also chasing Novak Djokovic for the No. 1 ranking.
Earlier, Nadal crushed French qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-1, 6-1 to reach the quarterfinals. On Friday, Nadal, who’s also battling appendicitis, will face either Borna Coric or Andrey Golubev. The 17-year-old Coric just beat Ernests Gulbis.
Also, Grigor Dimitrov fended off teen Alex Zverev in three sets. David Goffin also remained hot. Milos Raonic is on tomorrow.
In Valencia, London chasers Andy Murray and David Ferrer both won. Playing on his home soil – unlike Nadal who opted for the more lucrative Basel event – Ferrer eased past Andreas Seppi 6-3, 7-5. Ferrer now faces Fernando Verdasco tomorrow.
Murray had no trouble with Jurgen Melzer ousting the Austrian 6-3, 6-3. Next for Murray in Fabio Fognini.
Meanwhile Pablo Andujar sent off Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-2.
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