Federer out to end Bercy jinx
Paris - Former world No 1 Roger Federer said on Tuesday he was delighted to have refreshed the batteries with a six week break from tennis as he prepared to launch another assault at winning the Paris Masters for the first time.
The 30-year-old Swiss, who plays unheralded Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in the second round having - like the other seeds - had a bye for the first round, warmed up for the tournament with his fifth Basel title win last Sunday.
He said he didn't feel any additional pressure because he had yet to win the Masters event here.
"It's just the normal nervousness before a first round," said the third seed, who had until Basel been undergoing his lengthiest title drought since 2002.
"It's feeling the pressure. When you're on vacation and when you're in practice you never feel that kind of pressure."
The 30-year-old - who prior to Basel had only won the Qatar title back in January - showed few signs of rustiness last week after his lengthy rest.
He took it after helping Switzerland beat Australia in September's Davis Cup clash as his body started to show signs of wear and tear.
"There were several little things," said Federer, whose win in Basel was his first title in 10 months.
"I had a problem with my wrist, I hurt myself playing against (Jo-Wilfried) Tsonga (US Open quarter-finals), and in Australia (Davis Cup) also I hurt myself.
"It was the thigh, and I had something new with my ankle.
"They were all little things, nothing very serious except maybe my wrist. It scared me because it's dangerous there. But I just needed two or three weeks, so that seemed normal not to go to Asia at all (in October).
"I was disappointed, but it was great for me to have, for once, six weeks in a row. It gave me a chance to do everything I wanted to do in practice, outdoors, also holidays and my family. I've been playing 10, 12 years in a row from January to November."
The 16-time Grand Slam champion said that careful planning will also dictate his 2012 schedule in a year packed with the usual tennis plus the London Olympics.
"I've already said yes for Qatar (early January) and Rotterdam (mid-February)," said Federer.
"I'm talking with Dubai to see whether I'm going to play there as well, and then there will be Davis Cup (against the US in Switzerland on clay)."
He is yet to officially commit to the Davis Cup tie but appears to be leaning towards playing in the match, which runs from February 10-12.
"Davis Cup will be announced as soon as I will make a decision for Dubai. I hope it will be decided within two weeks. Then after that, the programme is clear until the US Open almost.
"I can be a bit more aggressive in my planning because I feel really good."
Results on Tuesday from the Paris Masters at the Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy (seedings in parentheses):
Ivan Dodig, Croatia, def. Fabio Fognini, Italy, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.
Sergiy Stakhovsky, Ukraine, def. Kei Nishikori, Japan, 6-4, 6-3.
Feliciano Lopez, Spain, def. Michael Llodra, France, 7-6 (7), 6-3.
Jeremy Chardy, France, def. Marcel Granollers, Spain, 6-3, retired.
John Isner, United States, def. Stanislas Wawrinka, Switzerland, 6-7 (3), 7-5, 7-6 (5).
Juan Monaco, Argentina, def. Donald Young, United States, 6-4, 6-2.
Tomas Berdych (5), Czech Republic, def. Fernando Verdasco, Spain, 6-3, 7-5.
Andy Roddick (13), United States, def. Julien Benneteau, France, 6-4, 6-4.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (6), France, def. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, Spain, 6-3, 6-4.
For gorgeous gifts at gorgeous prices, click here for the ultimate Christmas gift guide from Clicks.