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Federer battles to first win after illness

Swiss tennis star Roger Federer had some work to do to beat his opponent at the Indian Wells ATP tournament in his first match since a severe lung infection.

Federer, a three-times champion at the competition, beat Romanian Victor Hanescu 6-3, 6-7 (5), 6-1 on Sunday evening in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open.

The Swiss announced in February that he had picked up a lung infection which he described as “very serious” and which could potentially keep him out of action for up to six weeks. He had to withdraw from the Dubai Championships and the Davis Cup as a result.

But he was back in action in California, where a wobble in the second set allowed Hanescu to break the world number one’s game. Federer fought back in the third, however, for what in the end was a convincing win.

“I was happy with the way I played," Federer, who is 28 years old, told reporters. "Not having played for so long, I thought it was a good match overall.”

Sunday’s game was Federer’s first tour match since winning the Australian Open. He will face number 27 seed Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus in the third round.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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