Federer reaches third round

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:48 IST

Swiss star Roger Federer defeated Argentine Mariano Zabaleta 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 to advance into the third round of the $2.75 million Italian Open.

Federer reaches third round

Rome: Swiss star Roger Federer defeated Argentine Mariano Zabaleta 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 today to advance into the third round of the $2.75 million Italian Open. The fourth-seeded Federer showed off his all-round arsenal of consistent baseline play, accurate serves and volleys and tricky drop shots to extend his leading match victory total this season to 33. Federer unleashed four straight aces to close out the match. Overall, he hit 14 aces, while Zabaleta had none. In the winners' category, Federer led 42-18. Federer is aiming for his fourth title of the year and second in two weeks after capturing the trophy in Munich on Sunday. While Zabaleta is ranked only 39th, his game is well-suited for the clay courts at Foro Italico. Leading 3-2 in the first set, he produced the most spectacular shot of the tournament thus far. After stretching for a volley just in front of the net, Zabaleta raced back to return Federer's lob and managed a behind-the-back passing shot down the line, while Federer looked on incredulously. In other second round matches: eighth-seeded Jiri Novak of the Czech Republic eliminated Slovakian Dominik Hrbaty 6-1, 6-4; No. 12 seed Rainer Schuettler defeated South African veteran Wayne Ferreira 7-6 (7/4), 6-2; Spanish clay-court specialist Felix Mantilla beat rising American talent Mardy Fish 6-4, 6-3; and Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic topped Spain's Alberto Martin 6-4, 6-3. (AP)
Topics : Tennis
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