In-form Federer flies into fourth round

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Roger Federer defeats France's Nicolas Mahut to reach the fourth round of the ATP and WTA Pacific Life Open.

Updated: March 20, 2008 17:04 IST
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Indian Wells (California):

World number one Roger Federer looked like his old dominant self on Tuesday as he swept aside France's Nicolas Mahut to reach the fourth round of the ATP and WTA Pacific Life Open.

Federer, whose uncharacteristic slow start to the season has led to suggestions his position atop the world rankings could be in jeopardy, showed any such prediction was premature as he crushed Mahut 6-1, 6-1 in just 53 minutes.

"I don't know if I can be better than that," Federer said.

Added Mahut: "I had the feeling I was a junior and he was a pro. It was the kind of match that at the end you feel like you want to ask him how much for the lesson."

Mahut won only four points against Federer's serve and his only point against the Swiss' serve in the first set was a Federer double fault.

Perhaps more impressive was Federer's return game, which surprised both Mahut and the Swiss himself.

Federer, who has yet to win a title in 2008, bowed out of the Australian Open in the semi-finals and lost in the first round at Dubai.

He has pinned much of his early-season sluggishness to the effects of mononucleosis, which disrupted his usual training and practice.

"I'm feeling like I'm playing good tennis again. I feel like I did at the Australian Open after my first couple of matches. But this time I'm more sure I'm over the sickness, whereas in Australia it was quite extreme," he said.

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  • Tennis
  • Roger Federer
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