Basel: Roger Federer eased to victory in the first round of his hometown Swiss Indoors event on Monday, beating Benjamin Becker of Germany 7-5, 6-3. Federer, the defending champion who is seeking his sixth Basel title in seven years, served 10 aces against the 83rd-ranked qualifier.
The top-ranked Swiss is heavily favored to claim his seventh title this year after US Open champion Andy Murray pulled out with a back injury on Friday. The Briton's withdrawal elevated Juan Martin del Porto of Argentina to No 2 seed.
Also Monday, third-seeded Richard Gasquet of France rallied past Robin Haase of the Netherlands 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, Julien Benneteau of France beat Russia's Andrey Kuznetzov 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, and Polish qualifier Lukasz Kubot defeated Lukas Lacko of Slovakia 6-4, 6-4.