Roger Federer claimed a three-set victory against Philipp Kohlschreiber in the opening round of the Dubai Championships on Monday.
Making his return to the tour, after a shocking fourth round Australian Open loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas, the 37-year-old was made to work hard by Kohlschreiber for a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 win.
The ATP 500 event is one of Federer’s favourites since he trains in the city for a considerable amount of time in the year. On Monday, though, strong winds blowing across the centre court made it difficult for both players to find rhythm.
Federer seemed to be in cruise control at the end of the first set but Kohlschreiber did well to level things up in the second.
The Swiss great hit his stride early on in the deciding set and ran away with the match before his German opponent could find momentum. Federer will now face Spain’s Fernando Verdasco in the Round of 16.
Federer is bidding for an eighth Dubai title and the 100th of his career later on Monday against Philipp Kohlschreiber. The 20-time Grand Slam champion is seeded second behind Kei Nishikori.
Federer last played here in 2017, losing in the second round, and claimed his last Dubai title four years ago with a final win over Novak Djokovic.