Despite a 10-2 record against his second round counterpart, Roger Federer is acutely aware that Radek Stepanek can be a dangerous player. However, from the outset, Federer was in full control of the match. Federer vanquished Stepanek 6-3, 6-3 to move on to the third round at the Sony Ericsson Open.
At love, Federer broke to go ahead 4-3. Federer sustained the cushion all the way through to seal the first set.
His first time out serving in the second set, Federer stared at break point in the second game. Yet, the world number three wiped that out in a hurry. Subsequently, Federer obtained the break in the third game.
Thereafter, Federer was supreme breaking Stepanek one last time as he served to extend the match.
Federer has been a fixture on the tour for over a decade. It seems every time he steps on court there’s another record he is equalizing or shattering. With the victory this afternoon, Federer knotted Pete Sampras with 762 wins.
Federer was asked his thoughts on this new feat “It’s nice tying Pete, but he could have played for many more years. He could still win some matches on tour now if he wanted to. . . It’s a funny stat, but it shows how long I have been around already, how much I’ve won, all around the world and all the different surfaces. . . over 10, 12 solid seasons. I’ve never missed big chunks of seasons. That’s how you end up with so many wins, I guess.”
Rafael Nadal and Federer are on the same half of the draw. Although it’s a few rounds away, MiamiTennisNews.com wanted to know: Is it strange to possibly clash with Nadal in the semifinals as opposed to a final? Federer responded “It’s not something that’s for the very first time. That’s how it is when someone is ranked not in the top 2. That can happen. It’s still so far away that you don’t really concentrate on playing him quite yet”.
In addition, Federer iterated “the top four. . .five guys have been so good. . .that it [doesn’t] matter almost if you’re 1, 2, 3, or 4, you [know] that the semifinal opponent, if all the seeds are coming through, is going to be extremely tough. That doesn’t change with Rafa. It’s just that maybe for the fans it’s unusual to see us so close or closer in the draw. . . I love to play against him, so we’ll see how it goes.”
Next up for Federer is Juan Monaco. The Argentine edged Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.
Mikhail Youzhny thrashed Yen-Hsun Lu 6-0, 6-1. Last year it was Novak Djokovic, this time around, Olivier Rochus stunned Marcos Baghdatis in three sets to advance to the third round and face Youzhny.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga needed three sets to pull through against Teymuraz Gabashvili. In the subsequent round, Tsonga will clash with Alexandr Dolgopolov which will be another tight battle.