Indian Wells - Four-time Indian Wells champion Roger Federer held on through two tiebreakers on Monday to beat Dmitry Tursunov in straight sets at the first ATP Masters of the year.
It wasn't a dominant performance from the former world number one and 17-time Grand Slam champion, but it showcased the confidence he has regained with a strong start to 2014 after a disappointing - by his standards - 2013 campaign.
"Now I feel like I'm in a good place. Zen on the court," Federer said after his 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (7/2) victory.
"I know what my solid level is. Even if I won six and six today, I just feel like I was calm and served for the set - OK, got broken, still managed to stay calm."
Federer broke Tursunov to open the match, but was broken as he served for the set at 5-4 before winning the tiebreaker.
He recovered an early break in the second set before dominating in the second-set decider.
Federer arrived in California on the heels of a victory in Dubai -- where he beat Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals and Tomas Berdych in the final.
That win was his first title in nine months, and backed up a solid semi-final showing at the Australian Open, where he posted wins over Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
"It's just good to beat top 10 players from time to time," Federer said. "Especially with the difficult year I had last year, I could really feel at times I was actually not going to beat the best, probably.
"I would have a chance sometimes, but more often than not I wouldn't make it through.
"I feel different this year. I feel like if I do play my best I can come through again. That's like a major difference."Results on Monday from the ATP Masters and WTA BNP Paribas Open (x denotes seeding):
Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR x28) bt Rafael Nadal (ESP x1) 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/5)
Fabio Fognini (ITA x13) bt Gael Monfils (FRA x23) 6-2, 3-6, 7-5
Milos Raonic (CAN x10) bt Alejandro Falla (COL) 6-4, 6-3
Andy Murray (GBR x5) bt Jiri Vesely (CZE) 6-7 (2/7), 6-4, 6-4
Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI x3) bt Andreas Seppi (ITA x29) 6-0, 6-2
Kevin Anderson (RSA x17) bt Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) 4-6, 6-0, 6-3
Roger Federer (SUI x7) bt Dmitry Tursunov (RUS x27) 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (7/2)
Li Na (CHN x1) bt Karolina Pliskova (CZE) 6-3, 6-4
Aleksandra Wozniak (CAN) bt Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS x21) 6-1, 6-7 (3/7), 6-0
Petra Kvitova (CZE x8) bt Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS x27) 6-3, 2-6, 6-0
Camila Giorgi (ITA) bt Maria Sharapova (RUS x4) 6-3, 4-6, 7-5
Flavia Pennetta (ITA x20) bt Samantha Stosur (AUS x16) 6-4, 3-6, 6-1