Federer 'honeymoon' starts on the Monte Carlo clay

Federer 'honeymoon' starts on the Monte Carlo clay Monte Carlo - Roger Federer obtained the all-clear from pregnant wife Mirka before preparing to line up for the start of his clay season at the Monte Carlo Masters, the tennis newlywed revealed on Tuesday. "Mirka was completely relaxed about whatever decision I took," said world number 2 Federer, who opens at the Country Club on Wednesday against Italian Andreas Seppi.

"I feel like I have been on a honeymoon for the last years, so I don't feel necessarily I need to go somewhere, to a special place, to celebrate with her.

"We have had a lot of nice moments over all those years. We don't feel like we need it necessarily," he said of his long-time girlfriend.

The three-time finalist at the event who has yet to win a title this season, called himself relaxed heading into a tournament he had originally planned to skip with his secret wedding last Saturday in his hometown of Basle looming.

But once bride-to-be gave her approval, Federer last week took a wild card into the start to the spring Roland Garros run-up.

The 27-year-old who becomes a father sometime over the summer said that he's totally relaxed and ready to play.

"I always wanted to keep it (the week) open in case I got married or something, and see how I felt," he said. "I felt like it was the right thing to do, so I'm happy to be here.

"The clay season starts here. I have had good results the last few years here," said the losing finalist at the last three editions to Rafael Nadal.

"It's always exciting to change up your game a little bit and have a different mindset (form hardcourt) on how the points are being played.

"I'm excited that the clay court season starts. I really like being close to home for a change for the next few months, just makes traveling easier. I like the rallies on clay and I feel fresh."

That kind of confidence could again start striking fear into opponents as the leading eight seeds began play after byes.

On-fire Scot Andy Murray, the number 4, got through first as he hammered Romanian Victor Hanescu 6-3, 6-2 in less than 90 minutes. But Gilles Simon continued a dismal day for France as the sixth seed crashed out, a victim of German qualifier Andreas Beck Gilles Simon 7-5, 6-1.

Serb Janko Tipsarevic added to the Gallic grief with his upset in the first round of ninth seed Gael Monfils 6-3, 6-1 with the Frenchman playing with both knees heavily strapped as his game in a recession.

Argentine number 12 David Nalbandian started with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win over France's Paul-Henri Mathieu. Alberto Montanes won an all-Spanish battle, defeating 16th-seeded compatriot Nicolas Almagro 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 7-6 (7-5).(dpa)