Federer, Hewitt through to last 16

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/images/thumbnail/ver1/r/rogerfederer.jpg' class='caption'> Roger Federer and Lleyton Hewitt made comfortable progress into the last 16 of the Pacific Life Open at Indian Wells on Tuesday.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:50 IST
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Conditions at Indian Wells on Tuesday were far better than the previous two days, when strong gusting winds blew sand onto the courts and constantly frustrated players. Reigning champion and number one seed Roger Federer faced Gilles Muller in the third round. It was the first time that Federer had come up against the rising star from Luxembourg, who was the world's number one junior in 2001 and vaulted from 189th to 68th in the rankings last year. The 21-year-old Muller clearly wasn't overawed by the situation, and with nothing to lose, battled gamely. However, Federer was relatively untroubled as he took another step towards successfully defending his title, with a 6-3 6-2 victory in one hour and 23 minutes. Winning streak Also through to the fourth round is Lleyton Hewitt, twice a champion at Indian Wells. The Australian, seeded second behind Federer, saw off Michael Llodra of France in straight sets. He opened up a 4-0 lead in the first set, eventually taking it by six games to two. The second was significantly tighter, with Hewitt edging the tie-break for a 6-2 7-6 victory in one hour and 29 minutes. Other games In Tuesday's other early games, Spanish veteran Carlos Moya comfortably defeated compatriot David Ferrer 6-3 6-4. The seventh seed will now face Frenchman Fabrice Santoro for a place in the quarterfinals. In his third round match, Santoro, unseeded for the tournament, beat Feliciano Lopez of Spain 6-4 6-2. In a battle between two Argentine baseliners, 14th seed Guillermo Canas edged Juan Ignacio Chela over three sets. Canas prevailed over his countryman 7-5 2-6 6-4. (AP)

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