Federer beats Canas in Rome

Rome, May 6:

Roger Federer overcame his first obstacle at the $3.5 million Rome Masters.

The top-seeded Swiss star moved into the third round of the claycourt event on Tuesday with a 6-3, 6-3 win over pesky Argentine Guillermo Canas.

One of the top eight seeds to receive a first-round bye, Federer’s opening match came against one of the few players to own a winning record against the world No 1.

With Tuesday’s triumph, Federer improved to 3-3 all-time against Canas, who had won two of their last three encounters.

A finalist here in 2003 and 2006, Federer is seeking his first title at this event, won by World No 2 Rafael Nadal each of the last three years. Federer also reached the third round here last season,

but was upset by Filippo Volandri.

The only other second round match on Tuesday saw sixth-seeded American Andy Roddick cruise past countryman Mardy Fish by a 6-1, 6-4 count. Making his first claycourt appearance this season, Roddick improved to 8-1 career against Fish.

In one of ten first round matches, Juan Carlos Ferrero rallied for a 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 6-4 triumph over Nicolas Kiefer. The Spaniard’s reward is a second-round match with Nadal, who is 17-0 at this event and has won 103 of his last 104 claycourt matches overall.

Also through to the second round was No 14 Tommy Robredo, a 6-4, 6-1

winner against Juan Ignacio Chela.

German Open

BERLIN: French eighth-seed Marion Bartoli was the first player into the third round at the German Open here after she beat Lucie Safarova from the Czech Republic on Tuesday.

It had been a black Monday for French hopes in Berlin after former world number one Amelie Mauresmo withdrew with a rib injury brought on by a coughing attack.

And Tatiana Golovin, ranked 21st in the world, was beaten in the first round in only her second tournament back after a ten-week break which included surgery to remove a cyst which had given her back pain.

Bartoli, ranked 11th in the world, beat Safarova 6-0, 6-3 and is the last Frenchwoman left in the competition. She is likely to face tenth seeded Hungarian Agnes Szavay for a place in the quarter-finals.

Mauresmo, who won the German Open in 2001 and 2004, pulled out of the tournament late on Monday night because of pain in her intercostal muscles.