World No. 1 tennis player Roger Federer of Switzerland needed three sets to win his opening match at the Dubai Duty Free Open men's tennis tournament in the United Arab Emirates.
Playing for the first time since winning the Australian Open last month, Federer recovered from a second set loss to defeat Kristian Pless of Denmark, 7-6, 3-6, 6-3. His victory came on the day when he surpassed American Jimmy Connors as the player ranked No. 1 in the world for the most consecutive weeks. Federer has now been at the top spot for 161 straight weeks.
Also Monday, fourth seed Tommy Robredo of Spain was an upset victim, losing to Spaniard Fabrice Santoro, 7-6, 6-4.
Sixth seed Thomas Berdych of the Czech Republic survived a scare before reaching the second round. Berdych lost the first set to 370th-ranked Kuwaiti wildcard entry Mohammad Al Ghareeb, 6-3, before coming back to win the next two sets and the match 6-3, 6-2.
Dominik Hrbaty of Slovakia beat his wildcard opponent Omar Bahrouzyan of the UAE in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2. Russian Igor Andreev rallied from a first set loss to oust Frenchman Marc Gicquel in three close sets, 6-7, 6-4, 7-5.
Belgium's Olivier Rochus of Belgium beat South Korean Lee Hyung-Taik, 7-6, 6-2. Frenchman Florent Serra battled from behind to defeat Sweden's Jonas Bjorkman, 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.