Dubai Duty Free Tennis: Federer hands out more punishment to Youzhny

Roger Federer of Switzerland returns the ball to Mikhail Youzhny of Russia during their match on the first day of the ATP Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on February 23, 2015. (AFP)

Roger Federer eased to a 16th consecutive victory over Russia's Mikhail Youzhny to begin his quest for a seventh title at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Monday.

The Swiss world number two looked revitalised during a 6-3 6-1 stroll - his first competitive match since a surprise third round defeat by Andreas Seppi at the Australian Open.

Only two head-to-head winning streaks are longer than Federer's over Youzhny - Ivan Lendl's against Tim Mayotte (17) and Rafa Nadal's recently broken one against Tomas Berdych (18) - and Youzhny looked resigned to his fate.

Federer banged down eight aces during a 56-minute exhibition and will face the winner of an all-Spanish clash between Fernando Verdasco and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in round two.

Joining the 33-year-old in the second round of the high-profile event was Denis Istomin who removed struggling fifth seed Ernests Gulbis 7-5 6-2.  

Results of the ATP Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship on Monday (x denotes seeding):

1st round:

Roger Federer (SUI x2) bt Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) 6-3, 6-1
Joao Sousa (POR) bt James McGee (IRL) 6-1, 6-2
Denis Istomin (UZB) bt Ernests Gulbis (LAT x5) 7-5, 6-2
Andrey Golubev (KAZ) bt Fabrice Martin (FRA) 7-5, 6-4

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