Federer off to a flyer
Swiss veteran makes light work of teenager Tiafoe in Swiss Indoors opener
Roger Federer thrashed American teenager Frances Tiafoe 6-1, 6-3 as the top seed began his Swiss Indoors campaign with a resounding first-round victory yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Federer, who won in a stroll over Rafael Nadal just over a week ago in the Shanghai final, continued his top form in front of the local crowd at an event he has won seven times.
The 36-year-old Swiss, who has competed in a dozen Basel finals, made quick work of his 19-year-old opponent, who had taken him to five sets in this year's US Open first round.
Federer will next face France's Benoit Paire, a 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) winner over American Steve Johnson.
"I felt good throughout. The short match didn't matter too much because I have a day-off tomorrow," said Federer.
"Even if it had been three sets, it would have been okay. As long as I'm winning, it's all good. I'm just happy to win the first match. Frances was tough in the US Open.
"The next round with Paire will be tough, he's a dangerous player indoors. I'm happy I've found my rhythm early in Basel."
Defending champion and second seed Marin Cilic advanced in just 30 minutes, after Germany's Florian Mayer quit when trailing 6-3.
Third seed David Goffin defeated Germany's Peter Gojowczyk 6-2, 7-5 and fifth seed Jack Sock of the US rallied past Canadian Vasek Pospisil 3-6, 7-6 (9/7), 7-5.
Argentina's Leonardo Mayer knocked out eighth seed Mischa Zverev 7-5, 7-5.
Against Tiafoe, whom he also defeated last March in Miami, Federer wasted no time in establishing domination of the young gun.
The Swiss quickly rolled 4-0 ahead, with Tiafoe finally earning a game after 21 minutes of play.
Federer then produced a love game and closed out the set in 29 minutes on his first set-point.
Tiafoe's resistance stiffened slightly in the second set, with Federer achieving the break in the eighth game for 5-3 before wrapping up victory in 61 minutes.
Meanwhile, Juan Martin del Potro, the winner in 2012 and 2013, said he is hoping to build on his recent momentum as the injury-plagued Argentinian bids to snatch a place at next month's ATP Finals in London.
Cilic and Grigor Dimitrov are the latest to have sealed their spots for the season-ending tournament from Nov 12 to 19, leaving only two places up for the grabs.
Federer, Rafael Nadal, Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem had also qualified.
Del Potro, who has had multiple wrist surgeries and missed months of play in recent seasons, is 470 points behind Pablo Carreno Busta, who currently holds the eighth and final spot for London, with 500 points available to the Basel champion.
Del Potro, 29, is seeded fourth at the Swiss Indoors and showed that his fitness problems are behind him by beating Dimitrov to win his second straight Stockholm Open title on Sunday.
The former US Open champion said that the left wrist injury, which he suffered after falling during the Shanghai semi-final loss to Federer two weeks ago, is not giving him problems.
"I just want to keep winning events," del Potro said.
"I'm not thinking of London, it was not one of my goals this year. I know I'm getting closer, I'm just fighting to win all my matches.
"My goal is to play a good tournament here. I will see how far I can move (in the points race to London).
"I must also see how I feel for Paris (next week's final Masters tournament of the season).
"I will be playing for four straight weeks, that's something I've not done for three or four years." - WIRE SERVICES