Comeback star powers on in Monte Carlo
Roger Federer made a flawless comeback after two and a half months away, as the Swiss advanced over Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-3, 6-4 on Tuesday to power into the last 16 of the Monte Carlo Masters.
Federer showed no signs of a layoff after undergoing a knee operation on February 3rd and delaying his comeback by three weeks due to stomach illness last month before Miami.
Federer has never won the Monte Carlo title, losing in four finals, most recently in 2014 to compatriot Stan Wawrinka, the reigning French Open champion.
He said his repaired knee gave him absolutely no trouble: "The knee felt really good, like in practices, it felt like I didn't have to worry about it.
"It's only building on my confidence now, which is great."
Federer was broken while serving for the win leading 5-2 in the second set; he got the job done on the second time of asking with a winner.
Federer called the win "in a way, the perfect match."
"It was close in the beginning, then I was able to go on a roll. Points were cut short by virtue of me serving better and returning better, getting second serves, taking advantage of that fact.
"At the end, again, I had to fight for it. I was excited and tense in the beginning just because it's a first round. It's my first match back. So it was nice to go through all these emotions.
"I think I got what I needed. So we'll see how I feel tomorrow, tonight, the next day. Sometimes after a match, you can feel it for two days. At this point I'm pretty confident I'll feel fine."
Federer, playing here for a 13th time, won his fourth match over Garcia-Lopez without the loss of a set as they met for the first time on clay; he claimed his 29th Monte Carlo match win.