World No. 1 Roger Federer shrugged off a second-set lapse to reach the third round of the BNP Paribas Open 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.
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.
Andy Murray booked his third-round berth with a "scrappy" 6-4, 6-4 victory over Italian Andreas Seppi.
Among women, former champion and 10th seed Maria Sharapova of Russia was knocked out of the tournament on Sunday, losing an error-strewn marathon to China’s Zheng Jie 6-3 2-6 6-3.