Federer had not played for several weeks after taking time off in the wake of his exploits at the Laver Cup in Prague.
There, he had played doubles alongside Rafael Nadal, but today he knew defeat would see the Spaniard guaranteed the year-end world No 1 ranking.
The Swiss had been made to work by Diego Schwartzman yesterday before securing a straight-sets victory but he looked close to his best towards the end of that match.
And the world No 2 appeared to have blown away all the cobwebs by the time he faced Dologolov, who had retired from two of their previous four encounters.
The Ukrainian did at least look fit this time around, unlike when they met at Wimbledon earlier this year, but he was still no match for Federer’s clinical striking.
He broke in the very first game of the match, forcing two break points with some huge returns of serve.
By contrast, the aggressive returner Dolgopolov could not make any impact on the Federer serve until the final game of the set: his only break point came seconds before the Swiss sealed the first set.
History almost repeated itself in the second set as he forced another early break point, but Dolgopolov steeled himself.
However, it would not last long as Federer would go on to break the Ukrainian twice, in games five and seven, before sealing the match with yet another unreturnable serve.
But he left the court without knowing who his opponent would be in the next round but assured of facing a Frenchman – either Richard Gasquet or Gilles Simon will await him, who were into a final set when Federer was playing match point.
Source : EXPRESS