Defending champion Roger Federer gave up just one break point as he swept aside Thiemo de Bakker 6-3, 6-4 on Thursday to reach the quarter-finals of the World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion was never seriously troubled in front of the world No. 123 Dutchman’s home crowd at Ahoy Arena.
Federer set the tone early when he broke De Bakker to love in the fourth game. His only minor glitch was serving back-to-back double faults to squander two set points in the ninth game, but he hit back with two big serves to take the set.
He followed it up by breaking De Bakker again in the next game, the Dutchman hitting an easy chance into the net to drop his serve.
“I’m happy. Things are obviously pretty quick indoors,” Federer said. “Thiemo can serve well and he is very talented, so it is a good victory for me.”
Federer next faces Frenchman Julien Benneteau in the quarter-finals.
Juan Martin del Potro hit a dozen aces past Ernests Gulbis of Latvia in winning 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 to reach his first quarter-final of the year.
The second seed set up a clash with Jarkko Nieminen, who beat Matthias Bachinger of Germany 6-3, 5-7, 6-3.
Marcos Baghdatis beat fourth seed Richard Gasquet 6-4, 6-4 to also reach the last eight.
The unseeded Cypriot saved three break points and broke Gasquet once to take the first set, then had few problems in the second set as he moved into a quarter-final against Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria.
AP, SAO PAULO, Brazil
Rafael Nadal beat Joao Souza of Brazil 6-3, 6-4 on Thursday to reach the quarter-finals of the Brazil Open, his second tournament since returning from a left-knee injury.
Nadal broke Souza’s service late in each set to win in 1 hour, 18 minutes.
The victory over the world No. 140 came a day after Nadal withdrew from the doubles tournament to look after the sore knee which had kept him sidelined.
“Today, I felt good,” the 26-year-old said. “It’s not perfect yet, I don’t know when I’ll be at 100 percent.”
The 11-time Grand Slam winner next faces Carlos Berlocq after the Argentine won 7-6 (9/7), 6-4 against eighth seed Albert Ramos of Spain.
Earlier in the day, defending champion Nicolas Almagro of Spain reached the quarter-finals by beating Chilean qualifier Paul Capdeville 6-4, 6-7 (3/7), 6-2.
The world No. 11 won the last four games to stay on track for his third straight title in Sao Paulo and his fourth overall.
The second seed next faces David Nalbandian, who beat Guido Pella 6-4, 6-2 in an all-Argentine match.
Third seed Juan Monaco lost an opening-round match for the third time this season, falling to Simone Bolelli of Italy 7-5, 6-2.
World No. 80 Bolelli needed 1 hour, 16 minutes to defeat Monaco and advance to the quarter-finals, where he faces Albert Montanes, who beat seventh seed Pablo Andujar of Spain 7-5, 6-2.
Also on Thursday, Italy’s Filippo Volandri won 6-3, 6-2 against fifth seed Thomaz Bellucci, Brazil’s top ranked player.
AP, SAN JOSE, California
Third seed Sam Querrey beat Lleyton Hewitt 7-6 (8/6), 1-6, 7-6 (7/4) on Thursday to reach the SAP Open quarter-finals.
Hewitt, a former world No. 1, double-faulted twice in the third-set tiebreaker, including match point.
Colombia’s Alejandro Falla reached his first quarter-final of the season, knocking out seventh seed Marinko Matosevic of Australia 6-4, 6-4.
In other matches, sixth seed Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan topped Germany’s Benjamin Becker 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2; Belgium’s Xavier Malisse, seeded eighth, squeezed past Australia’s Matthew Ebden 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (7/1); and Steve Johnson of the US reached his first career quarter-final with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over qualifier Tim Smyczek.