Roger Federer is playing his first tournament since bowing out in the Aussie Open semifinals.
Roger Federer is playing his first tournament since bowing out in the Aussie Open semifinals.
Peter Dejong/AP

Defending champion Roger Federer cruised into the second round of the ABN AMRO tournament on Wednesday, beating Grega Zemlja 6-3, 6-1.

Federer, a two-time winner at the indoor hard court tournament, had taken a two-week break after losing a five-set semifinal to Andy Murray at the Australian Open.

Zemlja started strong, dropping only one point on his first two service games and forcing two break points on Federer's serve in the fourth game.

But Federer switched gears on the 64th-ranked Zemlja, saving both break points. He broke in the next game and again in the ninth to take the opening set.

The second set was brief, with Federer closing out the match in 58 minutes. Federer conceded it took a while to hit his stride at the indoor Ahoy arena.

"Hall play is different. It's warmer, so the ball flies more and it takes a bit of getting used to," he said. "The first ones are never easy. But I'm happy to be back and playing well."

In Wednesday's final match, Grigor Dimitrov beat Nikolay Davydenko 7-5, 6-3 in the second round.

Earlier, Gilles Simon beat Italian qualifier Matteo Viola 6-3, 6-1 to earn a spot in the quarterfinals, and fellow Frenchman Julien Benneteau joined him after a 6-1, 6-3 win over Victor Hanescu.

Marcos Baghdatis reached the second round when Benoit Paire retired while trailing 6-0, 6-7 (3), 4-0.

Richard Gasquet beat Viktor Troicki of Serbia 7-6 (3), 6-1 to reach the second round.

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