Federer makes winning return



Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:22

Federer has been out of action since his defeat by Rafael Nadal in Melbourne with back problems, but the three-time Indian Wells champion needed just 84 minutes to beat world number 52 Gicquel.

Federer will now face big-hitting Ivo Karlovic in the third round after the Croat beat Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-4 6-2.

World number four Andy Murray also advanced to the third round with a hard-fought victory over Albert Montanes.

Murray, 21, battled through 7-5 6-3 in one hour and 36 minutes in his first singles match since being forced to withdraw before his quarter-final with Richard Gasquet in Dubai last month due to a virus.

Tommy Robredo, the 15th seed, also made serene progress to round three with a routine 57 minute 6-1 6-4 win over Igor Kunitsyn, while Igor Andreev beat talented youngster Ernests Gulbis 6-4 6-4.

Robredo will next take on Marin Cilic after the Croat rallied to defeat Belgian Steve Darcis 6-(7/4) 6-2 6-1.

Fernando Verdasco, in his first tournament since reaching the semi-finals at the Australian Open, beat Brazilian qualifier Thomaz Bellucci 7-5 6-1, while Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won his ATP leading 22nd match of the season with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Russian Teimuraz Gabashvili to set up a meeting with Andreev.

Richard Gasquet of France beat countryman Michael Llodra 6-4 6-0, while German Philipp Kohlschreiber advanced to the third round for the third time in the past four years with a 6-7 (5/7) 6-3, 6-3 win over lucky loser Olivier Patience,

Finally, Ecuadorian Nicolas Lapentti beat Robin Soderling 6-4 7-6 (9/7), while Ivan Ljubicic advanced after fellow Croat Mario Ancic was forced to retire due to illness in the first set.


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