Sat, Aug 11, 2007 - Page 20 News List

Federer eases past Italian to advance in Rogers Cup

AP , MONTREAL, CANADA

Roger Federer of Switzerland returns a serve by Fabio Fognini of Italy during the Rogers Cup on Thursday in Montreal. Federer won 6-1, 6-1.

PHOTO: AP

Defending champion Roger Federer breezed past Italian qualifier Fabio Fognini 6-1, 6-1 to reach the quarter-finals of the Rogers Cup on Thursday.

The Swiss star, who won his fifth straight Wimbledon title this year, has won 14 straight matches at the Canadian tournament. He won the tournament in 2004 and last year but sat out in 2005 with an injury.

"By the time I sat down, I was [only] kind of starting to get warm, because 18 minutes is really fast, you know," the top seed said. "And the games were going quick, my service games, especially."

"And I knew that if I could just press a little more in the beginning of the second set, that would be it. So I was happy it all went my way, and that I didn't have to struggle too much out there," he said.

Andy Roddick had little trouble beating Marcos Baghdatis 6-2, 6-3. He will face third-seeded Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals. Rafael Nadal downed Paul-Henri Mathieu of France 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, setting up a quarter-final meeting with Frank Dancevic.

Dancevic became the first Canadian in 18 years to reach the quarter-finals of Canada's top tennis tournament with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Fernando Verdasco.

"I think that it was the most incredible experience of my life," Dancevic said. "The first set, I was doubting myself. I didn't know what was going on and I wasn't playing well."

Fognini, ranked 139th in the world, reached the third round with a win over Peter Polansky that was followed by an upset of 13th-seeded Andy Murray of Britain, but was overmatched by Federer.

"In normal -- actually perfect -- conditions today, and playing a solid match against a youngster, that was an excellent match," Federer said. "But it's going to be different the next match, so I'll have to adapt. But I hope I can keep this level of play, because if I play like this, I think I'm in good shape."

Federer will face Australia's Lleyton Hewitt, who eliminated Dominik Hrbaty of Slovakia 6-7 (10), 7-6 (6), 7-5 on Thursday in a match that lasted more than three hours.

"I haven't really thought about [facing Federer] -- I'm just happy to get out of jail today," Hewitt said. "It's going to be another interesting match. I haven't played him for quite a while now. It's a good challenge for me and obviously I don't have a lot to lose out there."

Fourth-seeded Nikolay Davydenko of Russia also advanced, while Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic upset No. 12 seed Tommy Haas of Germany 6-3, 2-6, 6-2.

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