Roger Federer marked his long-awaited comeback from injury with a confident straight-sets victory over Dan Evans to help Switzerland defeat Great Britain in their Hopman Cup opener.
The 35-year-old Federer, representing his nation in the mixed team event that he first won back in 2001, needed only an hour and three minutes to dispatch Birmingham’s Evans 6-3 6-4 in Perth.
Belinda Bencic then secured an unassailable 2-0 lead in the tie for the Swiss with a 7-5 3-6 6-2 victory over Heather Watson in the women’s singles.
It was Federer’s performance that grabbed the attention though, with the 17-time grand slam winner showing little sign of rust despite missing six months of action with knee and back problems.
He opened the singles showdown with an ace before breaking Evans in the sixth game of the first set.
The British number three effectively handed Federer the match by dropping his serve in the second-set opener and half an hour later, the former world number one had put one point on the board for Switzerland.
Federer, who received a standing ovation from spectators at the Perth Arena, said on www.hopmancup.com: “I’d like to live it again. I’m a little bit sad it’s over, because it was so nice out there.
“I was actually quite emotional. I thought for a first match it was great, because my expectations were obviously quite low.”