Fri, Aug 11, 2006 - Page 24 News List

Federer cruises to 14th win in a row

TORONTO MASTERSWhile Federer trounced Sebastien Grosjean, the Scottish prodigy Andy Murray beat Tim Henman in the 'Battle of Britain'

AFP , TORONTO

World No. 1 Roger Federer won his 14th match in a row while fifth seed James Blake, Britain's Tim Henman and Australian Lleyton Hewitt lost on Wednesday at the ATP Masters Series event here.

Federer rolled past France's Sebastien Grosjean 6-3, 6-3 in a second-round match at the US$2.45 million tournament, a warm-up for the US Open which starts later this month.

"It was a great win for me. I was able to be aggressive, serve and volley and come in a little bit," Federer said. "I was really pleased at the way I played because he's a tough player."

Improving to 58-4 this year, the Wimbledon and Australian Open champion advanced to face Russian Dmitry Tursunov, who avenged a Los Angeles final loss by ousting Germany's Tommy Haas 7-5, 2-6, 6-1.

Scottish 19-year-old prodigy Andy Murray defeated England's Henman 6-2, 7-6 (7/3) in the "Battle of Britain" while Hewitt was forced out by a right knee injury with Sweden's Thomas Johansson leading 6-3, 3-2.

France's Richard Gasquet staged the day's biggest shocker, ousting American Blake 6-4, 6-3. Also falling was Spanish seventh seed Tommy Robredo, who fell to Argentina's Jose Acasuso 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Gasquet rated the victory as likely his best since downing Federer last year at Monte Carlo.

"It's a great performance because I [beat] him here, not on clay court. It was on a hard court here in Toronto, so it's a great performance for me. I played a fantastic match. I am really, really happy to win this match," Gasquet said.

Federer said he needed only days to recover from his Wimbledon triumph rather than weeks as in past seasons, an encouraging sign as he prepares for the year's final Grand Slam event.

"I've been able to eliminate many matches I would have lost in the past because of mental fatigue," Federer said.

"That hardly ever happens anymore, because my preparation is so much better. I've passed all the tests. It's just now for me to enjoy the tour, try to win as many matches [as I can] because that's what makes me the most happy," he said.

Murray defeated Henman at the Swiss Indoors last year in their only prior ATP meeting and was making it look easy with a 5-2 edge in the second set.

Thailand's Paradorn Srichaphan was ousted by Belgian Xavier Malisse 7-6 (7/3), 6-3.

South Korea's Lee Hyung-taik was the latest victim of Spanish star Rafael Nadal, losing 6-4, 6-3.

Samantha Stosur spoiled Lindsay Davenport's return from injury on Wednesday, outlasting the former world number one 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-3 to reach the third round of this US$600,000 WTA US Open tuneup.

Top-seeded Russian Maria Sharapova, winner of the title at San Diego on Sunday, opened her Los Angeles campaign with a 6-3, 6-1 victory over compatriot Anastassia Rodionova.

Seven-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams continued her progress back from injury with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Ashley Harkleroad.

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