Federer Races Through Season Opener
Swiss superstar starts the new season with a win
Roger Federer began his 2016 ATP World Tour season on Thursday night by beating qualifier Tobias Kamke 6-2, 6-1 in just 55 minutes at the Brisbane International presented by Suncorp.
Federer has won his first tour-level match of the season each year for 18 straight seasons, since his ATP World Tour debut when he lost to Lucas Arnold Ker at Gstaad in 1998.
"I'm extremely pleased I was able to win today," said Federer, who was contesting his first match since Ivan Ljubicic replaced Stefan Edberg as his coach. "I was extremely happy with the work that Stefan was doing," said Federer. "He's been incredible. To get two years out of him was amazing, that was willing to take it on and give it a shot.
"When Ivan got available towards the end of the season, that's when I called him up. I thought he could be someone very interesting and exciting for my game, for my team. He could match well. He knows everybody. He is also a dad. He still plays very well. He's played against most of my opponents. He's played me a bunch and knows my game very well. He's now also been a coach [of Milos Raonic] for a couple years, which I thought was important. He's done very well with Milos, so very excited he's on the team. Today was our first win together, so that was nice as well."
Top seed Federer, who beat Raonic in last year's final, is attempting to capture his 89th tour-level title this week. He is also bidding to lift his ninth trophy in the month of January (also 2002 Sydney, 2005-06, '11 Doha, 2006-07, '10 Australian Open and 2015 Brisbane).
Federer has a 3-0 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against his quarter-final opponent, Grigor Dimitrov, who defeated Viktor Troicki earlier in the day. Federer beat Dimitrov in last year's semi-finals.
"Tomorrow is going to be tougher. It's earlier in the tournament. Okay, maybe just one round earlier. In practice, in December, it's been great. I have been hitting the ball well. I am where I want to be. Then again, tomorrow we'll see. Grigor's had a tough grind today, but he's extremely match tough. I expect him to be fresh again tomorrow. I played him quite aggressive last year and that worked well."