Roger Federer takes on Stephane Robert in the second round of 2017 BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells on Sunday.
The four-time champion is heading into the tournament after facing a second-round exit at last month's Dubai Duty Free Championships following loss to unseeded Evgeny Donskoy. The Swiss star returns to action at the Indian Wells after his runner-up finish in 2015 to a star-studded field in which world number two Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in his half.
On the other hand, Robert has, for the first time in the ongoing season, gone past the first round but he faces an uphill task against the in-form Federer.
Federer, who battled against odds to win his 18th Grand Slam at the Australian Open earlier this year, said he expects the battle in the ongoing tournament, which has the likes of Djokovic, Nadal, Stanislas Wawrinka, Andy Murray (ousted in the first-round) apart from in-form Alexander 'Zverev and Juan Martin del Potro, to be tougher than a Grand Slam but is ready for the test.
"I know it is going to be tough - maybe even tougher than a Grand Slam, but I'm here, I'm healthy and I'm really looking forward to being back," Federer said, as quoted by Sky Sports.
The opening match against Robert is expected to the easiest one for the Swiss legend as the 36-year-old, who has not met Federer earlier, has been woeful in the new season.
India: Sony ESPN
China: LeTV, CCTV
Malaysia: Astro Supersport
Hong Kong: PCCW
Middle East: beIN Sports
UK: Sky Sports