Federer cruises into Stockholm quarterfinals

Stockholm: Roger Federer cruised into the Stockholm Open quarterfinals in his 900th match on the ATP Tour, beating Taylor Dent of the United States 6-1, 6-2 in 51 minutes.

Federer outclassed Dent to record his 727th tour win, in his first match in the Swedish capital for a decade yesterday.

“When I look back in 98, I played my first one, 900 matches later it’s quite crazy but I’ve done so well. I’ve got a great win-loss record,” Federer said. “I couldn’t ask for a better career.

“I think 1,000 should be rather easy to be honest, we play over 50 a year, so that should be done in a couple of years.”

It took the 16-time Grand Slam winner just 17 minutes to win the first set, breaking Dent twice.

Dent put up more of a fight in the second, having two break points in the fourth game, but Federer upped the tempo.

Federer never needed to demonstrate his full repertoire of shots, but he ripped one backhand pass in the second set that brought cheers from the crowd at the Royal Tennis Hall. The second-ranked Swiss finished with a delightful drop shot.

“That was a good night of tennis for me. Hardly any stupid mistakes, stay on the offensive, and tried out a few things,” Federer said. “Also tried to throw in some serve and volley as the lead got bigger and bigger.”

Federer will face countryman Stanislas Wawrinka in the next round.

Second-seeded Robin Soderling also advanced by defeating Germany’s Benjamin Becker 6-3, 6-3. The fifth-ranked Swede broke Becker in the sixth game to take the first set and twice in the second to the delight of the Swedish public.

Fourth-seeded Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia breezed past Arnaud Clement of France 6-3, 6-4.

Ljubicic had 12 aces on the way to his 10th straight victory over Clement.

Ljubicic will face countryman Ivan Dodig next, after he routed Germany’s Tobias Kamke 6-1, 6-1, in only 53 minutes.

American wild card James Blake defeated German qualifier Matthias Bachinger 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (2). Two-time champion Blake meets Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen, who beat third-seeded Tomas Berdych on Wednesday, in the quarters.

Bureau Report

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