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Federer wins old-school style as top seeds advance

Sports Desk |
Update: 2010-08-12 16:46:49
Federer wins old-school style as top seeds advance

TORONTO: Number three Roger Federer overcame old-school, attack-minded Michael Llodra 7-6 (7/2), 6-3 to advance at the Toronto Masters Thursday, while top seed Rafael Nadal showcased the modern style with a demolition of Kevin Anderson 6-2, 7-6 (8/6).

Nadal, reigning French Open and Wimbledon champion, looked every bit the cutting-edge tennis powerhouse as bashed his South African opponent from the baseline, winning his 33rd of 34 matches dating to April.

The Spaniard faces a quarter-final clash with German Philipp Kohlschreiber, who beat Lu Yen-Hsun of Taiwan, 6-7 (5/7), 7-5, 6-0.

"I played well in the first set and thought I was in control in the second at 4-2," said Nadal "But he broke me and I had to play a good tiebreaker to win. To make the quarter-finals of a big event like this is important."

Number two Novak Djokovic secured passage over Romanian Victor Hanescu 6-3, 6-4.

Defending champion and number four Andy Murray escaped with a win over Gael Monfils, holding his nerve as his game temporarily tanked in a love second set in the face of a burst of athleticism from the always unpredictable Monfils.

Monfils however, failed to follow through, a tumble on his right shoulder during a dive on the cement significantly dimming his enthusiasm and allowing Murray to escape 6-2, 0-6, 6-3.

The Scot managed to secure a 3-1 record over Monfils with the victory, his 27th of the season.

Federer`s effort landed him in a re-match from Wimbledon against Tomas Berdych, a winner over Alexander Dolgopolov of the Ukraine 6-3, 6-7 (5/7), 6-4.

Berdych eliminated Federer at the All England club after upsetting him earlier in the season in Miami.

Two seeds were knocked out as Argentine strongman David Nalbandian won an 11th consecutive match, toppling number five Swede Robin Soderling 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Jeremy Chardy of France beat Russian sixth seed Nikolay Davydenko 6-3, 6-2.

Federer needed less than 90 minutes to pass his third-round test against Frenchman Llodra, a year his senior at age 30. So impressed was the beaten opponent, that Federer happily gave him the pink shirt off his back upon request post-match.

"It`s fun playing that kind of a style once in a while," said the Swiss. "I kind of miss it.

"Everything is much more open for everybody to play on all the surfaces, and it`s a different kind of tennis today. But it was fun playing against Michael, I thought he played well."

The throwback serve-and-volley style of the number 35 suited Federer down to the ground after the Swiss fought back in the first set from a break in the second game.

The contest was played under the watchful eye of Federer`s trial coach Paul Annacone, former mentor to Pete Sampras.

The Swiss improved to 33-9 on the season as he bids for his second title after January`s Australian Open.

"I definitely have to go back and think what didn`t go so well against Berdych and what did work well," said Federer.

BDST: 1614HRS, August 13, 2010

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