Roger Federer got off to a good start Wednesday night at the Rome Masters, prevailing in straight sets in a rematch of his recent Istanbul Open final against Pablo Cuevas. The 33-year-old Swiss fired eight aces en route to a 7-6 (3) 6-4 victory, where it was clear he was comfortable from start to finish.
Movement, accuracy of shotmaking and craftsmanship of his play were on point, to the delight of the sold out crowd on Court Centrale. Federer was 10 of 11 at net in the first set, and earned the necessary break midway into the second set to hold off Cuevas.
Federer advances to the third round on Thursday, where he will face the tall South African, Kevin Anderson. Afterward, the three time Italian Open finalist addressed the media.
“I know I’m not the favourite, like maybe I was in other years, but who cares really,” said Federer. “I’m happy I won my first round match. That was my focus, especially after last week and last year here, both matches I lost with match points. So I’m happy to get the victory tonight.”