Monte Carlo:Roger Federer eased past South Korea's Lee Hyung-taik 6-4, 6-3 on Thursday in the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters.
Lee broke the world number one in the third game of the first set, but the Swiss star broke back in the fourth and took control after that.
Federer set up match point with a serve-and-volley winner and then earned the victory when Lee hit a powerful backhand long.
The 10-time Grand Slam champion, lost last year to Rafael Nadal in the final at both this tournament and the French Open - the only major he has not won.
After Thursday's match he acknowledged he'd made a poor start.
"Yes, I just couldn't get the rhythm right and in the beginning on clay if you don't have the rhythm you're going to be broken and on clay it happens more often so you have more of these matches that go back and forth. The important thing is that you don't get frustrated and I was able to do that," said Roger Federer.
Federer next plays 12th-seeded David Ferrer of Spain, who has never won a set against Federer in five encounters.
On Thursday, Ferrer recovered from 4-1 down in the first set to beat sixth seed, Novak Djokovic of Serbia, 7-5, 6-4.
A good win for the Spaniard against the rising Serb star but he knows his next match will present a tough challenge, one he has never yet mastered.
Also on Thursday, Tomas Berdych rallied from a set down to beat fifth seed Tommy Robredo of Spain, 1-6, 6-3, 6-2.
The 10th-seeded Czech, whose previous best at Monte Carlo was reaching the second round, will now face Robin Soderling of Sweden in Friday's quarter-finals.
The Swede reached the last eight by beating Max Mirnyi of Belarus 7-6 (5), 6-2.