Roger Federer breezed back into action to reach the second round of the Dubai Open with a straightforward 6-1 6-3 over erratic Frenchman Benoit Paire on Monday.
In his first match since memorably claiming his 18th grand slam title by beating Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open a month ago, the 35-year-old was immediately back in the old routine to give Paire the runaround.
There was precious little resistance from the Frenchman as Swiss maestro Federer, the third seed, delighted a packed Centre Court crowd with some flashes of brilliance.
Paire was warned for unsportsmanlike behaviour at one point after hurling his racket and also needed treatment on a foot injury. Federer claimed victory in less than an hour.
The Swiss, who does much of his training in Dubai, is looking for his eighth title at the tournament.
Top seed and world number one Andy Murray also returns after a lengthy layoff, which included a bout of shingles, when he takes on Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri on Tuesday.