ROME (AP) — Roger Federer opened his clay-court season with a rare doubles victory at the Rome Masters.

The top-ranked singles player paired with Swiss Davis Cup teammate Yves Allegro to beat Johan Brunstrom of Sweden and Jean-Julien Rojer of the Netherlands Antilles 6-4, 7-6 (4) on Monday.

Federer never dropped serve and showed off effective volleying skills in his first match inside the new 10,500-seat stadium at the Foro Italico.

Federer and Allegro will face sixth-seeded Simon Aspelin of Sweden and Paul Hanley of Australia.

Federer isn't a stranger to doubles. He won gold in doubles at the 2008 Beijing Olympics

In singles, Federer will open against 40th-ranked Ernests Gulbis on Tuesday.