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Federer Returns With A Win, Wawrinka Up Next

Shanghai, China

Federer© AFP/Getty ImagesRoger Federer will face Stanislas Wawrinka in the third round after beating Yen-Hsun Lu.

World No. 1 Roger Federer returned to action for the first time in three and a half weeks as he overcame a spirited challenge from Chinese Taipei’s Yen-Hsun Lu with a 6-3, 7-5 victory on Wednesday at the Shanghai Rolex Masters.

The Swiss broke once in each set and won 93 per cent of points behind his first serve to end Lu’s resistance after 80 minutes. He was playing his first match since guiding Switzerland through the Davis Cup World Group Play-offs against the Netherlands last month and improved to a 62-8 match record on the season.

"It's just about getting a sense of how to play the points again, even though it's [only] been a couple of weeks," said Federer. "But my last matches were on clay. You always wonder if you have lost something in the meantime.

"But I'm happy that things worked out well today because I thought Lu played a pretty good match.  He's got the game to be really dangerous, particularly on a fast court like today. I was able to manage. That was a good thing too me, so I'm really happy. He played inspiring tennis at times. It was a good atmosphere and a nice match to play."

The 31-year-old Federer, who reached the Shanghai final on his last visit in 2010 (l. to Murray), is chasing a record-breaking 22nd ATP World Tour Masters 1000 crown this week. Should he win his third-round clash against countryman Stanislas Wawrinka on Thursday, Federer is guaranteed to maintain the No. 1 South African Airways ATP Ranking for a 300th week.

"I'm obviously excited," said Federer, regarding the possibility of 300 weeks at No. 1. "It's a big number, even though 299 or 300 doesn't make a big difference for me. It's obviously a big match for me. If you look back, there's many matches where there was a lot on the line, so this is just another one. It's just more the difficulty also playing a good friend. That adds to the special occasion tomorrow."

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The 13th-seeded Wawrinka battled past Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 in just under two hours. Federer has won 11 of their past 12 meetings, with Wawrinka’s lone win coming three years ago at the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters.

Barclays ATP World Tour Finals hopeful Janko Tipsarevic took advantage of his rivals’ slip-ups in Shanghai by defeating fellow Serb Viktor Troicki 6-2, 7-6(3). Tipsarevic, who is currently ninth in the South African Airways ATP Rankings Race To London, saved all eight break points he faced for victory in just under two hours.

The 28-year-old Tipsarevic, a winner this season at the MercedesCup in Stuttgart (d. Monaco), goes onto face German veteran Tommy Haas, who dismissed Spain’s Tommy Robredo 6-4, 6-4 to record his 29th win of the year.

Richard Gasquet was dealt a blow in his bid to qualify for the year-end Barclays ATP World Tour Finals as he was beaten by Czech Radek Stepanek, 6-4, 6-4 in 88 minutes. Having beaten Lleyton Hewitt in the first round, Stepanek won back-to-back matches for the first time since the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati as he converted three of his six break points.

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