Federer cruises through ABN AMRO

World number one Roger Federer showed sublime form in his first match of the ABN AMRO Tournament in Rotterdam.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:05 IST
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Day three of the 842,000 euros (US$ 1,066,364) ABN AMRO tournament in Rotterdam on Wednesday saw the top two seeds of the competition step out onto court. Number two seed Juan Carlos Ferrero of Spain was first out against Dutch qualifier Dennis van Scheppingen. Despite the partisan crowd, Ferrero raced to a quickfire 5-0 lead before eventually securing the opening set 6-3. But the home favourite would prove awkward opposition for the world number four. Van Scheppingen would not let Ferrero open up a lead and after forcing a second set tie-break, the 98th-ranked player in the world threatened to level the match with some quick reactions at the net. Ferrero kept his cool, however, eventually securing a 6-3, 7-6 victory as he sneaked the tiebreak 7-5. World number one and Australian Open Champion Roger Federer has displayed some heavenly skills already this season, and his first appearance in Rotterdam provided more of the same. Arnaud Clement of France would surely need some help from above to beat the Swiss star, but this was not what he had in mind. Federer proceeded to outclass the Frenchman as he cruised towards his fifteenth straight professional victory. Clement failed to match the class or the firepower of tennis' newest star as the Federer machine rolled on relentlessly. Tennis' newest superstar wrapped up proceedings with a scorching forehand, cruising to a 6-4, 6-3 win – and Romania's Andrei Pavel will probably not be looking forward to their second round meeting. Hewitt sails through Former Wimbledon Champion and Tournament Director Richard Krajicek was casting an eye over world number eight Lleyton Hewitt as the Australian began his campaign in Rotterdam earlier on Wednesday. Sixth seed Hewitt, who has only lost once in his last ten matches, was in typically combative mood when he opened against Chilean Fernando Gonzalez. Gonzalez had no answer to Hewitt's pace and power, as the Aussie swept the first set 6-2 - not hard to see why he is Krajicek's tip to win the tournament. Hewitt had no further trouble, smashing down an ace on match point for a 6-2, 6-1 victory - he will now face Sweden's Thomas Johansson in the second round. "Just see what happens mate. Every match is tough and you have got to worry about one match at a time. I either play Ascione or Thomas Johansson in the next round. you know obviously Johansson I've played once before, he's a tough player, he's won a Grand Slam (and) he's beaten some of the best players in the world," said Hewitt. In other action on day three in Rotterdam, Max Mirnyi struggled early before eventually booking his place in the second round. The big-serving Belarussian, champion here in 2003, saved a second-set match point and needed three sets to beat Sargis Sargsian of Armenia - 6-7 (3-7), 7-6 (7-5), 6-1. Germany's Rainer Schuettler was victorious in the only second round match on Wednesday. The third seed needed little time to overcome Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic 6-3, 6-4 and will play the winner of the Thomas Johansson - Lleyton Hewitt match in the quarterfinals. (AP)