(Reuters) – Roger Federer returned from a month-long layoff with a 6-4 6-4 second round victory over Roberto Bautista Agut yesterday at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati.
Federer had not competed since losing in the Wimbledon final to Novak Djokovic and he quickly shook off the rust, needing just an hour and nine minutes to beat Agut.
“It’s the first round of the hard court season for the next six plus months or so,” Federer told the ATP Tour website after his first match at the tournament having received a bye into the second round.
“I have things in mind to work on for the hard-court season. Number one, you have to be fit and tough, because you can stop on a dime and move the other direction, which on other surfaces is not so easy to do.”
Earlier, controversial Australian Nick Kyrgios, who hit the headlines last week when he taunted opponent Stan Wawrinka in Montreal, was crushed 6-2 6-1 by Richard Gasquet in their first round match.
Kyrgios appeared distracted for much of a one-sided contest and summoned the trainer for treatment on his back before he was swept aside in just under an hour.
Gasquet, the 12th seed, converted four of his six break points before sealing victory with his fourth ace of the match and will next face 19-year-old Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis, who was an integral part of Kyrgios’ taunts last week.
Kyrgios, 20, drew the ire of the tennis world in Montreal after he insulted Wawrinka during a match at the Rogers Cup, saying that Kokkinakis had slept with the Swiss player’s girlfriend.
Though Kyrgios later apologised via Twitter for his comments, he was slapped with two separate fines by the ATP who also raised the possibility he could be suspended. Federer had also been critical of Kyrgios’ behaviour.
“He definitely crossed the line by a long shot,” Federer told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “We’re not used to that kind of talk in tennis. It’s normal that the tour comes down hard on him and explains to him that it’s not the way forward.”