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Federer Finishes Off Ferrero; Tsonga Tops Del Potro

Rome, Italy

Federer© AFP/Getty ImagesRoger Federer notches his 30th match win of 2012.

Roger Federer finished strong to defeat Juan Carlos Ferrero 6-2, 5-7, 6-1 in a meeting of former World No. 1 players on Thursday night at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia.

Ferrero had extended the match after breaking for a 6-5 lead in the second set, but the Swiss made a quick recovery in the third. He rolled out to a 3-0 lead and added an insurance break in the sixth game.

The 30-year-old Swiss improves to a 30-3 season record, with wins in 23 of his past 24 matches. He has won a circuit-best four titles during that span, including the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 title last week in Madrid.

Federer is chasing his first title in Rome after runner-up finishes in 2003 and ’06. He next confronts Italian No. 1 Andreas Seppi, who saved six match points to edge Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka.

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Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated Juan Martin del Potro for the second time in six career meetings, recovering an early service break to dismiss the Argentine 6-4, 6-1. Del Potro had won his first 10 matches on clay this season (12-2), highlighted by the Estoril Open title, before losing to Tomas Berdych in the Madrid semi-finals last week.

World No. 5 Tsonga is through to his second clay-court ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarter-final this spring; he reached this stage in Monte-Carlo, where he lost to countryman Gilles Simon in straight sets.

He next meets top seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic, whom he leads 5-4 in the FedEx ATP Head 2 Head series despite losing three of their past four meetings. This will be their first encounter on clay.

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