Roger Federer settled a score with his bogey player Guillermo Canas on Tuesday, easing his way into the third round of the Rome Masters with a 6-3 6-3 victory.
Canas went into the game as one of the few players on the tour to hold a winning record against the world number one, but Tuesday’s result evened things up at three victories apiece.
Federer made an assured start, breaking Canas in the middle of the first set before producing two aces and a delightful drop shot to hold his serve to love at the end of it.
The Argentine came closest to breaking his opponent in the sixth game of the second set, when Federer was lucky to save a break point with a net-cord winner.
Federer, beaten finalist here in 2003 and 2006, never looked back, breaking Canas’s serve twice in the last three games.
”The draw was tough with Guillermo in the second round. We’ve had some tough ones in the past and I knew it was going to be difficult,” Federer told a news conference.
”I played well. I felt I was in the groove right away again from Monaco. It was a good match to start off the Rome campaign and I hope I can move on from here.”
Federer reached the Monte Carlo Masters final in Monaco last month, losing to his main rival Spaniard Rafael Nadal.
Back in his stride
Federer, a 12-times Grand Slam winner, said he was confident he was back to his best after suffering from glandular fever and losing his Australian Open title in a poor start to the season.
”I’m back in my stride again and feel like I’m playing well and nothing ever happened,” he said. ”It was a tough couple of months early on”.
Nadal, aiming for his fourth consecutive Rome Masters title, will meet unseeded 2001 champion Juan Carlos Ferrero in a second-round match on Wednesday after his compatriot beat German Nicolas Kiefer 6-7 6-3 6-4.
Sixth seed Andy Roddick breezed into the third round with a 6-1 6-4 win over fellow American Mardy Fish.
The top US player showed no signs of being rusty in his first game of the year on clay, polishing off the first set in 23 minutes.
Fish put up stiffer resistance at the start of the second, producing some thumping forehand winners before Roddick broke in the seventh game of the set.
”I feel pretty good,” Roddick said. ”Mardy is an attacking player and if he was going to attack my goal was to make him do it from the back of the court and I was able to do that.
Croatian wildcard Mario Ancic defeated Spain’s Feliciano Lopez 6-4 6-4 and will meet fourth seed Nikolay Davydenko of Russia in the second round.
Carlos Moya, the 11th seeded 2004 champion, was turfed out in the first round by his Spanish compatriot Fernando Verdasco, 6-3 6-4.
Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 10th seed, also made an early exit on his return from a knee injury, blowing three consecutive match points in a third-set tiebreak before going down 6-2 4-6 7-6 to Gilles Simon.
In the second round France’s Simon will face Italy’s Simone Bolelli, a surprise finalist at the Munich Open last weekend, who defeated Olivier Patience 6-0 6-3. – Reuters