Federer cruises, Nadal struggles in Hamburg Masters

May 15th, 2008 - 12:36 pm ICT by admin  

Hamburg, May 15 (DPA) Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal rebounded from their recent disappointments in Rome with contrasting victories in the second round of the Hamburg Masters here Wednesday. The Rome Masters champion Novak Djokovic also advanced as he continued his assault on the world’s leading players.

The Swiss, Federer, took just 57 minutes to demolish Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen, 6-1, 6-3, while Spaniard Nadal had to face more opposition from Potito Starace of Italy before outplaying him 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) in just over two hours.

Djokovic wrapped up the day’s action with a 6-3, 6-1, triumph ove Argentina Juan Ignacio Chela in 65 minutes.

All eight top seeds including Federer, Nadal and Djokovic received first-round byes in the event.

Czech Radek Stepanek ambushed Federer in the Rome quarter-finals last week, while Nadal crashed out in the second round against compatriot Juan Carlos Ferrero.

Federer returned to the centre court Wednesday and dropped serve twice early in the second set but responded with four unanswered games to clinch victory on his first match point. Federer had 11 unforced errors to Nieminen’s 22.

“It was a good performance,” said Federer after stretching his record against Nieminen to 9-0 without dropping a set.

“I have had so much success here. I knew immediately that this would work for me (again).”

Nadal had some early hiccups as he trailed the 47th-ranked Starace, but four games in a row from 3-1 down to 5-3 eventually gave him the first set.

Starace continued to torment Nadal in the second set and even had a set point at 6-5 in the tie break. But he then double-faulted and hit an easy forehand into the net to give Nadal match point, which the Spaniard accepted with a forehand winner. Nadal had 20 unforced errors and Starace 42.

According to new Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) calculations from Wednesday, Djokovic can snatch the number two ranking from Nadal in Hamburg.

He remained on course thrashing the 39th-ranked Chela, who offered resistance only in the early stages. Djokovic hit 34 winners while Chela had just 11.

Earlier, Rome runners-up Stanislas Wawrinka crashed out losing against the 43rd-ranked local player Nicolas Kiefer, 7-5, 7-5 after wasting two set points in tenth game of the second set.

Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia accounted for seventh seeded American James Blake 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 while former world number one Marat Safin of Russia defeated ninth-seeded Czech Tomas Berdych, 7-5, 6-4.

The 13th seed Tommy Robredo of Spain lost 3-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) against Croatia’s Ivo Karlovic, and Swedish Robin Soderling shocked 14th-seeded Australian Open finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France 6-2, 7-5.

In the other matches, 11th seed Carlos Moya defeated Belgian Oliver Rochus, 7-5, 6-3, while Argentine Juan Monac, seeded 12th, ousted Simone Bolelli of Italy 6-2, 6-1, and British number 15 Andy Murray prevailed over France’s Gilles Simon 6-3, 6-3.

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