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Classy Federer eases past Berlocq

ESPN staff
May 16, 2012 « I'm no cheat, pellets didn't alter performance - Peterson | Chartbeat test »

Roger Federer's hot streak continued with a 6-3 6-4 win over Carlos Berlocq at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome.

The Swiss' victory at the Madrid Open last week took him above Rafael Nadal to No. 2 in the world rankings and he has Novak Djokovic in his sights. The French Open is looming large on the horizon and back on the red clay following last week's jaunt on the controversial blue, Federer was not extended to see off Berlocq.

Federer was happy to mix net and baseline play from the off and he secured a break in Berlocq's opening service game. Berlocq fashioned a couple of break-back chances in the seventh game, but the 16-time grand slam champion fended off the threat as he closed out the opening set.

Berlocq traded blows with Federer at the start of the second, but surrendered his serve in the fifth game. Berlocq worked a couple of break-back points in the following game and after seeing Federer fend off the first with a sublime drive volley, he got a look at a second serve and flashed a forehand cross court for a winner.

Securing the break sparked the crowd into life as they roared on the underdog and he threatened to force a deciding set. But Federer steeled himself in the face of some fierce hitting and stepped things up in the ninth game to break again on his way to securing the win.

Juan Martin Del Potro is feeling his way back towards the top of the tree and he cruised to a 6-4 6-2 win over Mikhail Youzhny to set up a meeting with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Juan Monaco dropped just six games in beating Radek Stepanek and his reward is a clash with world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, while Nicolas Almagro proved too good for Sam Querrey and Marcel Granollers beat home favourite Fabio Fognini..

Granollers will now face Rafael Nadal, after he eased past Florian Mayer.

Elsewhere, there were victories for Stanislas Wawrinka (over eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic), Andrea Seppi (over ninth seed John Isner), Gilles Simon and Tomas Berdych

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