Published February 13, 2013
| Sports Network
Rotterdam, The Netherlands – Reigning champion Roger Federer opened with a win, while fresh off his title in France last week, French star Richard Gasquet was also a first-round victor Wednesday at the $1.7 million ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.
The top-seeded former world No. 1 Federer leveled Slovenian Grega Zemlja 6-3, 6-1 in 58 minutes to reach the second round.
The reigning Wimbledon champion and 17-time major titlist beat Juan Martin del Potro in last year's marquee finale here and also titled in Rotterdam back in 2005.
Federer's next opponent will be Dutch wild card Thiemo de Bakker.
The fourth-seeded world No. 10 Gasquet withstood 11 aces in defeating Serbian Viktor Troicki 7-6 (7-3), 6-1 on the indoor hardcourts at Ahoy Rotterdam. Troicki is now a dismal 3-44 lifetime against top-10 competition.
The in-form Gasquet ran the table in Montpellier last week for his second title of 2013 -- with the other coming in Doha last month -- and improved his ATP-best match record to 15-1 this season.
Gasquet's second-round opponent will be dangerous Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis.
In some second-round action on Day 3, fifth-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon subdued Italian qualifier Matteo Viola 6-3, 6-1, France's Julien Benneteau dispatched Romanian Victor Hanescu 6-1, 6-3, and promising Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov straight-setted former world No. 3 Nikolay Davydenko 7-5, 6-3.
And in other first-round play, German qualifier Matthias Bachinger upended sixth-seeded Italian Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-4 and the former Australian Open runner-up Baghdatis got past Benoit Paire, 6-0, 6-7 (3-7), 4-0, as the Frenchman retired while trailing in the third set due to an illness. Paire was last week's Montpellier runner-up to his fellow countryman Gasquet.
In addition to Federer, a second-seeded del Potro will play his second-round match against Latvian Ernests Gulbis on Thursday.