Federer marks winning return in Montreal

Switzerland's Roger Federer returned to the competition with a comfortable victory over Canada's Frederic Niemeyer at the Montreal Masters, while Frenchmen Jeremy Chardy and Paul-Henri Mathieu lost to Andy Murray and Nikolay Davydenko respectively.


REUTERS - Roger Federer pointed to a little ring rust rather than the joys of becoming a new dad after beating Frederic Niemeyer 7-6 6-4 on Tuesday to reach the third round of the Montreal Masters.

In his first match since lifting a record 15th grand slam singles title at Wimbledon, much has changed in a few weeks for Federer, who arrived in Montreal with his wife Mirka, new born twin daughters Charlene Riva and Myla Rose and a nanny in low.

Ranked 487th, Canadian Niemeyer had hoped a few sleepless nights would help level the odds against the world number one.

But an opponent on diaper duty and the backing of a centre-court crowd of 11,000 could not save the 33-year-old in his final appearance at the tournament before retiring.

"I was happy with that performance today," Federer told reporters after launching his hardcourt campaign with his 20th straight win.

"After five, six weeks without a match you're just a little bit slow on your reaction, your return.

"Mirka is great, she handles it all well. Me too, I'm quite laid back and hands on (with the kids). It seems to be working so far."

The Swiss added: "Today all-in-all I thought it was okay. I wish I could have gotten some more balls back on the return but that again was due to him serving (well)."

Erratic Federer

While Federer declared himself mostly satisfied with his performance there was none of the brilliance that swept him to back-to-back grand slam wins at Roland Garros and Wimbledon.

Throughout the 85-minute match, Federer struggled for form, spraying forehands wide and long and slamming routine overheads into the net.

The first set failed to produce a break, Federer taking the opener in a tie-break 7-3.

Niemeyer continued to battle in the second until Federer finally wore down the Canadian, earning the only break of the match to go up 4-3 before wrapping up proceedings.

Third seed Andy Murray and number four Serb Novak Djokovic, also back in action for the first time since Wimbledon, advanced smoothly.

Spain's Rafael Nadal prepared to open his title defence on Wednesday by playing doubles for the second consecutive day.

Briton Murray, who can snatch the number two world ranking from Nadal with a decent run in Montreal, beat Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-4 6-2.

Serbia's Djokovic battled past Canadian wildcard Peter Polansky 6-4 7-6.

Eighth-seeded Russian Nikolai Davydenko also advanced with 7-6 7-6 win over Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu.

World number 10 Fernando Gonzalez of Chile survived a scare, battling back to beat 679th-ranked Canadian Milos Raonic teenager 4-6 7-6 6-4 in a first-round meeting.

Montreal Masters men's singles results from Canada on Tuesday:

Second round:

1-Roger Federer (Switzerland) beat Frederic Niemeyer (Canada) 7-6 6-4
4-Novak Djokovic (Serbia) beat Peter Polansky (Canada) 6-4 7-6
3-Andy Murray (Britain) beat Jeremy Chardy (France) 6-4 6-2
8-Nikolay Davydenko (Russia) beat Paul-Henri Mathieu France) 7-6 7-6

First round:

*11-Fernando Gonzalez (Chile) beat Milos Raonic (Canada) 4-6 7-6 6-4
Tommy Haas (Germany) beat Ivo Karlovic (Croatia) 4-6 7-6(3) 6-4
Jan Hernych (Czech Republic) beat Julien Benneteau (France) 6-2 6-3
David Ferrer (Spain) beat Viktor Troicki (Serbia) 6-3 6-0
Alejandro Falla (Colombia) beat Dudi Sela (Israel) 6-4 3-6 6-3
10-Fernando Verdasco (Spain) beat Feliciano Lopez (Spain) 6-1 6-7 6-1
Philipp Kohlschreiber (Germany) beat 17-Tomas Berdych (Czech Republic) 7-6 6-7(9) 6-4
Andrey Golubev (Kazakhstan) beat 16-Radek Stepanek (Czech Republic) 6-3 6-4
John Isner (U.S.) beat Jesse Levine (U.S.) 6-3 6-4
Victor Hanescu (Romania) beat Juergen Melzer (Austria) 6-4 6-3
15-Tommy Robredo (Spain) beat Alex Bogomolov Jr. (U.S.) 6-4 6-2
Juan Carlos Ferrero (Spain) beat Lleyton Hewitt (Australia) 6-1 6-4

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