Indian Wells, California:World number one Roger Federer shrugged off a second-set lapse to reach the third round of the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday with a victory over Victor Hanescu.
Federer said he was pleased with his first match since his Australian Open triumph, even if he wasn't quite firing on all cylinders in his 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 6-1 victory.
"I was happy with the way I played," Federer said. "Not having played for so long, I thought it was a good match overall.
"Missed maybe some of the clutch serving when I really needed it. Let's say 30-all, deuce, I couldn't really get that one perfect serve I was sometimes looking for. But that's something that happens."
Hanescu was Federer's second-round victim in Melbourne, where Federer claimed his 16th Grand Slam singles title.
The Swiss star had been slated to play the Dubai Open last month, but was sidelined by a lung infection.
Federer, who won the Indian Wells Masters 1000 title in 2004, 2005 and 2006, appeared headed to the kind of decisive victory over Hanescu that he posted in Melbourne when he broke the Romanian in the second game and went on to clinch the opening set without facing a break point.
But he ran into trouble in the second when Hanescu reeled off three straight games, including a service break, to take a 5-2 lead. Federer responded by winning three straight games to level the set at 5-5 as they went to the tiebreaker.
In the decider, Hanescu jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead. Federer closed the gap, but after knotting the score at 5-5 Federer netted a volley to give Hanescu a set point that he converted when Federer's backhand service return sailed long.
"I didn't play the best of tiebreakers, but still had a small chance. I remained calm in the third, and I played good tennis," added Federer, who took control of the final frame by winning the first three games.
Federer next faces Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus, a 7-6 (9/7), 6-1 winner over France's Arnaud Clement.
Andy Murray, who fell to Federer in the Australian Open final, booked his third-round berth with a "scrappy" 6-4, 6-4 victory over Italian Andreas Seppi.
The fourth-seeded Briton, who was runner-up here last year, got off to an erratic start but found a groove with his serve in the second set to triumph in an hour and 26 minutes.
"It was a pretty scrappy match," Murray said. "Even though it was relatively comfortable, there were still some tight moments.
"When you haven't played for a long time, you have to expect not to play your best the first match out," added Murray, who lost in the second round at Dubai last month in his most recent prior outing.
Other men's seeds to advance Sunday included sixth-seeded Swede Robin Soderling, a 6-2, 6-4 winner over Evgeny Korolev of Kazakhstan, and seventh-seeded American Andy Roddick.
Roddick dispatched Taiwanese qualifier Lu Yen-Hsun 6-4, 6-4.
In women's third-round action Australian Open semi-finalist Zheng Jie of China outlasted 2006 titlist and 10th seed Maria Sharapova 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 in a gritty battle lasting two hours and 43 minutes.
Other seeded women advanced on cue, including second-seeded Dane Caroline Wozniacki who beat Russian Maria Kirilenko 6-0, 6-3.
Fourth-seeded Russian Elena Dementieva also advanced, downing Belgian Kirsten Flipkens 6-4, 6-2, and fifth-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland cruised into the round of 16 with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Argentina's Gisela Dulko.