Roger Federer kept the celebrations going just over a week after winning his 100th title, starting his campaign at the Indian Wells Masters with a 6-1, 7-5 victory into the third round.
Federer flew straight to California the day after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Dubai final to mark his trophy century.
The 37-year-old icon, hunting his sixth title in the Californian desert, schooled German Peter Gojowczyk in front of a sellout crowd which included LA-based former legend Pete Sampras.
Austrian restaurateur Wolfgang Puck, a longtime friend of the Swiss, sent along a celebratory cake from his onsite Spago outlet, which was presented to Federer at the end of the match.
Fourth seed Federer, who lost the 2018 final while holding match points against Juan Martin del Potro, won his ninth match of the season as he advanced.
The 20-time Grand Slam winner boasts a proud history at the Tennis Garden, reaching the finals in his last four appearances, with his last title coming in 2017.
Federer ripped through the first set but had to dig in during the second to produce the win.
“He was fighting more in the second, I had to withstand his shot-making, he was going for big shots.
“I made the plays in the first, he served better in the second. But I was more consistent and had more variation.
“It was a tough set, I’m glad I won it and avoided a tiebreaker.”
Federer broke for 6-5 on his opponent’s double-fault before closing out victory a game later,
Federer now owns 63 match wins here, his most at any Masters 1000.
And though he is still fully stuck into his brilliant career, Federer is still optimistic that when he and his fellow legends finally leave the game, the future of tennis is assured.
“I’m also a strong believer the game will be fine,” the 20-time Grand Slam champion said on Sunday.
“Whatever problems we are facing now on the tour (after a Novak Djokovic-led political coup which will cost the job of ATP boss Chris Kermode) we have so many cool events on the tour.
“(They) always generate new superstars, either in the local market or internationally.”
Federer said that inevitably, it will not be all about him, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic when the next generation finally takes over in the game.
“A lot of guys have a very interesting story to tell, but right now they (media) choose to focus on still our story, that Rafa is still going, I’m still going, Novak is dominating.
“All these things, it’s very cool… the new wave is coming through. That new wave is inevitably going to win Slams and tournaments, and then we will hear more about them.”
Federer said that the transition from his generation of legends to the new players will perhaps be a jolt – but one that will be quickly overcome.
“There will be a transition, no doubt about it, like when Pete (Sampras) and Andre (Agassi) started to go away and we had a lot of different Grand Slam champions at that time, which I thought was quite exciting.
“But people said, like, ‘Where is the guy that wins all the time?’ And then when you have a guy (Federer, Nadal) winning all the time, then they say, ‘Where are the guys winning separately?’
“It’s never quite right, but I think we will be totally fine.”