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Federer, Djokovic Bounce Back From Opening Tests

Madrid, Spain

Federer© Getty ImagesRoger Federer improves to 31-6 record in Madrid.

After escaping with a win over Milos Raonic in a third set tie-break Wednesday night, Roger Federer returned to the court less than 24 hours later and comfortably dismissed No. 14 seed Richard Gasquet 6-3, 6-2 to reach the Mutua Madrid Open quarter-finals.

The World No. 3 raced through the match in 58 minutes, hitting 31 winners and breaking the Frenchman three times from six opportunities. Federer faced down one break point in the final game and proceeded to clinch the victory with an ace. Gasquet, a finalist last week at the Estoril Open (l. to del Potro), had defeated Federer in two of their three previous clay-court meetings coming into Thursday’s match.

"Overall I think I played a smart match and served well when I had to and played well on the big points again which I am very happy about," said Federer.

The 30-year-old Swiss has now reached the quarter-finals in all nine of his Madrid appearances. He won the title in 2006 on hard courts (d. Gonzalez) and in 2009 on the tournament’s transition to clay (d. Nadal). Should he reclaim the title this week, Federer will ascend to World No. 2, surpassing Rafael Nadal, who lost to Fernando Verdasco earlier Thursday.

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Federer will next face World No. 6 David Ferrer, whom he leads 12-0 in the FedEx ATP Head2Head. They have met four times on clay, most recently in the Madrid semi-finals two years ago. "This is a tough task ahead of me but I feel like I'm playing pretty good the moment and I expect myself to play better each match so we'll see how it goes tomorrow," said Federer.

Ferrer saved three match points to take his record against fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro to a perfect 10-0. He fought off match points down 5-6, 6-7 and 7-8 in the tie-break, before putting away the win on his first match point opportunity 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(8) after two hours and 53 minutes.

Ferrer now ties Almagro as the circuit leader with 18 match wins on clay this season. He is also the first player this year to reach 30 match wins (30-5).

Similar to Federer, World No. 1 and defending champion Novak Djokovic bounced back from an opening round test to defeat unseeded Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka. After going 0 for 7 on his break point chances in the first set, Djokovic broke Wawrinka twice to build a 5-2 lead in the second. He was unable to serve out the match at the first time of asking, but completed the task on his next attempt after one hour and 45 minutes.

Djokovic is looking to become the first player to successfully defend the Madrid title. He will next face countryman Janko Tipsarevic, who defeated Frenchman Gilles Simon for the first time in five career meetings, 7-6(3), 5-7, 6-1. Simon, the recent Bucharest champion, was looking to extend his clay-court winning streak to eight straight matches.

World No. 8 Tipsarevic is making his second main draw appearance in Madrid, after falling in the first round of his debut in 2009 (l. to Fish). He has a 1-4 head-to-head record against Djokovic, whom he last faced this past March in the Dubai quarter-finals.

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