Dubai, UAE, 29 February 2012 | DPA

Roger Federer has made a regal start to his bid for a fifth career title at the Dubai Championships, hammering good friend Michael Llodra 6-0 7-6(6) to continue his excellent run of form in 2012.

The second seed was untouchable in a 17-minute opening set, losing just seven points. Llodra finally won a game after 25 minutes of play for one-all in the second set. The veteran Frenchman managed to make a match of it by taking the set into a tiebreaker before going down after 67 minutes on court.

Federer, who won his last Dubai title in 2007, didn’t miss a beat as he carried on after lifting a 71st career title nine days ago in Rotterdam. He will next face Feliciano Lopez, who beat Nicolas Mahut 6-4 6-4.

“It was a great way to start the week, 6-0 in the first set,” said the Swiss. “I had to make sure I controlled as much as possible.

“Michael is dangerous, he just came from Europe so he was missing some of his range. He had a few too many double-faults (five) but served better in the second set.”

The 40th-ranked Frenchman put Federer in brief danger with a set point in the second-set tiebreaker, which the Swiss saved with a forehand winner.

“I played solid all through, it all came together at the right time. I’m happy things went so well early in the tournament.”

Third seed Andy Murray overcame a queasy stomach to post an opening win, while Jo-Wilfried Tsonga shook off a midnight arrival to dismiss Marcos Baghdatis 7-6(2) 6-4.

Murray, feeling poorly with flu-like symptoms, managed to hold off German left-hander Michael Berrer 6-3 4-6 6-4 for a spot in the second round.

Czech fifth seed Tomas Berdych beat German Benjamin Becker 6-2 6-2.

Serbian seventh seed Janko Tipsarevic was untroubled by Russian Igor Kunitsyn 6-2 6-2.

Mikhail Youzhny earned a Russian win as Frenchman Richard Gasquet quit trailing 6-3 after half an hour with illness.

Swiss qualifier Marco Chiudinelli, a Basel childhood mate of Roger Federer, will line up for the first time against Murray after putting out Nikolay Davydenko 6-4 5-7 6-4.

Italy’s Flavio Cipolla defeated Croatian veteran Ivan Ljubicic 6-2 7-5.