After delaying his comeback from meniscus surgery, Roger Federer appeared to be all systems go in his first match since the Australian Open, defeating veteran Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, 6-3, 6-4 in his opener at the Monte-Carlo Masters.
Federer, who cancelled his return in Miami due to illness, breezed into the third round (the top eight seeds received first round byes) without any signs of trouble on his knee and wasn’t tested much on his serve until late in the second set. Up 5-1, Federer found his lead nearly evaporated at 5-4, 15-30, but won the final three points to seal the win. Per the Associated Press via The New York Times, Federer said, “I could go freely. I was very pleased how I felt, how I played.”
He’ll either face another Spaniard in Roberto Bautista Agut or Frenchman Jeremy Chardy in the round of 16 on Thursday. (Update: It will be Bautista Agut. Federer is 4-0 against him, having never lost more than four games in a set.)
Elsewhere in the tournament:
-After a hugely disappointing Indian Wells/Miami swing, Andy Murray struggled in his opening singles match, but ultimately prevailed in three sets over Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert (who just claimed both Indian Wells and Miami in the doubles). He’s also participating in the doubles with fellow Brit Dom Inglot.
-Defending champion Novak Djokovic, 8-time champion Rafael Nadal (who won his doubles opener) and 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka kick off their singles campaigns on Wednesday.