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Federer Progresses into the Fourth Round at the Sony Ericsson Open

The last encounter that Roger Federer had with Juan Monaco was three years ago at the Masters Series in Hamburg whereby he was victorious. Although the Argentine is known to excel on clay, he gave Federer a good fight on hardcourt today. Federer pulled away with a 7-6, 6-4 win to pen his name into the fourth round.

As a result of a double fault, Federer gave Monaco break point in the opening game. However, Federer managed to hold. By misfiring on a forehand, Monaco gifted Federer a break point and threw in a double fault for the break.

At this point, it seemed Federer would make short work of world number 35. But with a couple of mistakes of his own, Federer surrendered the next game allowing Monaco to get back on serve.

At 2-1, Federer had a couple more chances to break. Still, Monaco was unflappable and guarded serve.

With Monaco saving six out of seven break points, the first set went to a tiebreaker which Federer claimed.

In the second set, Monaco dominated on serve while Federer had a few tight games. Consequently, it seemed that the match could go to a third set. As usual though, Federer stepped it up at the right time.

After an ace for game point, Monaco double faulted for deuce. Then, with a forehand winner, Federer had his second break point opportunity of the game. When Monaco’s forehand landed long, Federer went up 5-4.

With Federer serving for the match, Monaco continued to resist. Finally, with a forehand up the line winner, Federer arrived at 40-30. With Monaco’s stroke going out of play, Federer penned his name into the next round.

After the match, MiamiTennisNews asked Federer what made Monaco a difficult adversary considering he’s a clay court specialist “tough was not having played him very often. Then, it being hot, humid and slow conditions. . .this is as slow as it gets out on the hard court. It’s a bit of clay almost except that you can’t slide. All the clay court specialists. . .have adapted very well to the hard courts now these days”.

In addition, Federer cited “I thought he played well in the later stages of the first set and then also in the second. But I was able to come through with a crucial first set, which allowed me to have a bit of sort of winfromtheback sort of feeling. . .I had the one return game which worked well, and was able to serve it out. So it was a good finish for me”.

Qualifier Olivier Rochus upended the 13th seed Mikhail Youzhny 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 and will be Federer’s subsequent challenge in the fourth round. Federer’s record against Rochus is 7-0, their ultimate meeting was two years ago.

This was what Federer had to say about the upcoming battle “He’s coming back from an injury, I think. But he’s played well. I think he’s been in the challenger in Guadeloupe [and won that tournament]. Today, he beat Youzhny, a quality player. . .coming back from a set down. . .it was impressive.

Also, Federer expressed “He’s a good friend of mine. He has amazing touch and feel out on the court, great playing sense, when to play which shot. Even though he’s a small guy, he knows how to use his weapons and his feel. He’s a great tactician. I enjoy playing against him. It’s a different kind of playing style. I’m looking forward to the match”.

Tomas Berdych, the seventh seed, defeated Carlos Berlocq 7-5, 7-6 while Florian Mayer shocked Nicolas Almagro in three sets. The winners will now meet in the fourth round.

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