10/22/12 8:11 PM | Ricky Dimon
Roger Federer opens his bid for a sixth Basel title with a mostly routine win over Benjamin Becker on Monday. Federer awaits either Thomaz Bellucci or Go Soeda.
The Swiss Indoors Basel is officially underway, as hometown hero Roger Federer kicked off the proceedings on Monday evening. Federer opened with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Benjamin Becker, needing one hour and 28 minutes to reach the second round.
A tight first set saw Federer run into some surprising trouble. Becker had a great chance to break at 3-3, but he netted a routine forehand return on a second serve at 30-40. The 31-year-old German fought off his opponent's first seven break chances, including at 5-6, but he cracked on the eighth one by double-faulting down set point.
Federer actually trailed in the second set, as he donated serve at 2-2. But that proved to be nothing more than a wake-up call for the top-ranked Swiss, who did not lose another game the rest of the way. Federer broke back at love then struck again at 4-3, 30-40 with a forehand winner. Basel's two-time defending champ quickly wrapped up the proceedings with a love hold at 5-3.
He finished with seven aces and two double-faults while winning 85 percent of his first-serve points. Becker recorded nine aces but he double-faulted five times.
Next up for Federer is either Go Soeda or Moscow runner-up Thomaz Bellucci.
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