World number six Roger Federer has started 2014 in vintage style, progressing to the quarter finals of the Brisbane International with a straight sets victory over Finnish veteran Jarrko Nieminen.
The win pits Federer against Australian Marinko Matosevic, who progressed earlier on Wednesday after a 5-7 7-6 6-4 decision over American Sam Querrey.
Federer was making his debut in Brisbane but played as if he built Pat Rafter Arena, taking his overall record against the world number 44 to a lop-sided 14-0 in an entertaining display that ended with a 6-4 6-0 triumph.
Nieminen kept the Swiss great on his toes in the opening set, with the pair sustaining some high-quality rallies that elicited plenty of ooohs and ahhhhs from local fans, who have been waiting to see Federer in the tournament since its launch in 2009.
Federer broke in the fifth game before closing it out in typically clinical fashion. He upped the pace in the second set as Nieminen struggled to keep pace with Federer's accurate serve and crisp play from the back of the court.
Nine aces to Nieminen's one told the tale on service, while Federer managed to fend off all four of Nieminen's break point opportunities, with the Finn saving just one from four.
A botched return on another Federer missile sealed Nieminen's fate in just 68 minutes as the 17-time Grand Slam champion opened his account for the New Year in impressive touch.
It was his first singles match after a six-week break, one that included some sessions in Dubai with the newest member of his coaching staff Stephan Edberg, the Swedish champion who wrote the book on serve-and-volley tennis.
"I'm extremely pleased. This has been a longer break than previous years. Six weeks isn't a whole lot but in the tennis world, it's a lot. It's great to come out and defeat a player like Nieminen," Federer said.
Federer will be desperate to add to his Grand Slam tally in 2014. His 2013 campaign was the first since 2002 that the 32-year-old hadn't added a major trophy to the cabinet.
- FFX Aus