(CNN) -- Home favorite Roger Federer is through to the second round of the Swiss Indoors tournament in Basel after a straight sets victory over Italian Potito Starace on Monday.
Third seed Federer, a four-time winner of the tournament, will now face either Brazilian Thomas Bellucci or Jarkko Nieminen of Finland after securing a 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 success against his world ranked 54th opponent -- who is known more as a clay-court specialist.
Federer, who is behind Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray in the seedings for the event, has not competed since playing for Switzerland in the Davis Cup in September, because of a succession of niggling injuries.
And although he has won only one ATP Tour event in 2011, in Doha in the first week of the year, world number four Federer has reached the quarterfinals in 11 of the 13 tournaments he has played.
"My focus now is well at Basel -- and the next round is my next priority," Federer told reporters. "Last year I won here and in London and also had match points in the Paris semis.
"I know I can play well at the end of the season. If I'm going to make a ranking move, that's what it's going to take," he added.
There was a surprise in Monday's other match, with eighth-seeded Serb Viktor Troicki going down 4-6 7-6 6-2 to 2005 runner-up Marcos Baghdatis in a marathon match lasting just 15 minutes short of three hours.
Baghdatis had also beaten Troicki in the semifinals of the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur last month.
Meanwhile, in the Valencia Open in Spain, Russian Nikolay Davydenko continued his comeback from injury with a superb 6-4 4-6 6-3 win over fifth seed Gilles Simon of France.
The defeat almost certainly ends Simon's hopes of reaches the ATP World Tour Finals in London. He currently lies 12th in the standings with only the top eight qualifying.
Davydenko will next meet Simon's compatriot, Nicolas Mahut who beat Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-6 (7-5) 6-2, in the last 16.