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Federer beats Stepanek on return

Roger Federer was happy with his return to action after a two-month break as he progressed into the third round of the Madrid Open with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Radek Stepanek on Tuesday.

Roger Federer
Roger Federer celebrates after beating Radek Stepanek at the Madrid Masters yesterday. PICS/AFP

The World No 2 had suffered from a back injury in his last outing at Indian Wells at the beginning of March but said he felt comfortable on his first appearance on the clay in 2013 against the World No 48, who he had struggled with in the past.

“I didn’t think I played incredible, but that’s not what I was expecting myself to do here. I didn’t play bad, either,” he said in his post-match press conference.

“I’m very happy with how things went today. Stepanek is a player who can cause a lot of difficulties in the game. “Today that wasn’t the case. I thought I was pretty much in control.

Federer, twin daughters Myla Rose, Charlene Riva and wife Mirka
Daddy’s little girls: Federer’s twin daughters Myla Rose and Charlene Riva (top left) and his wife Mirka saw the Swiss ace in action

Even though the scoreline seems pretty simple, I did have to fight for it. That’s a very good thing in a first round, I think, now that I’ve been able to win my first round here.”

And the 17-time Grand Slam winner also believes that, with the likes of Stepanek and Tommy Haas having success on the tour well into their thirties, at 31 he still has plenty more years at the top of the sport.

“I made the breakthrough early, but for years I’ve always looked at the long term. I think that will help me to play for a long period of time, hopefully. It was always my goal to play until 35 or more. Next up he will face either Kei Nishikori or Victor Troicki.

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