Federer, Roddick in quarter-finals

Rome, May 12:

Top-ranked Roger Federer, No 3 David Nalbandian and No 5 Andy Roddick each reached the Rome Masters quarter-finals on Thursday.

Federer dispatched 14th-seeded Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-4, and Nalbandian beat Spain’s Alberto Martin 7-5, 6-4 for his eighth straight victory. Roddick knocked out British Greg Rusedski 7-6 (4), 6-2.

The only moment of trouble for Federer was when he fell behind 0-40 while serving for the match. Federer hit a big first serve down the middle that Stepanek couldn’t return to get to 15-40. Stepanek then missed a forehand to conclude a long rally and Federer served an ace to reach deuce. Federer forced Stepanek into two more errors and the match was over.

Nalbandian’s win over Martin improved his season record on clay to 11-1. Nalbandian reached the final here in 2004, losing to Spain’s Carlos Moya. He will next face 15th-ranked Mario Ancic, who saved three match points before defeating Spain’s Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo 6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-5.