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Federer Races To Rotterdam Win; In-Form Gasquet Beats Troicki

Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Federer© Henk KosterRoger Federer lifted the 2005 (d. Ljubicic) and 2012 (d. del Potro) trophies.

Roger Federer began his bid for a third ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament title on Wednesday in his second tournament of the 2013 season.

The World No. 2, who lifted the 2005 (d. Ljubicic) and 2012 (d. del Potro) trophies, defeated Grega Zemlja of Slovenia 6-3, 6-1 in 58 minutes to improve to a 22-5 mark at the first ATP World Tour 500 tournament of the year. The Swiss will next face Dutch wild card Thiemo de Bakker in the second round.

“I thought the ball flew a little bit more today than in practice. Overall, I felt I'm moving and striking the ball ok,” assessed Federer. “It took some time getting used to seeing the ball well again. I was happy with the way I reacted... saving break points and then getting on a roll after that.”

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In-form Richard Gasquet improved his ATP World Tour-best match record to 15-1 this year after withstanding 11 aces from Serbian Viktor Troicki in a 7-6(3), 6-1 win in 84 minutes. Troicki dropped to 3-44 against players in the Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings. Last week, Gasquet won his second ATP World Tour title of 2013 at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier (d. Paire).

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In other first-round clashes, German qualifier Matthias Bachinger hit 11 aces and saved all four break points he faced to beat sixth seed Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-3, 6-4 in 73 minutes. Benoit Paire, who reached his second ATP World Tour final in Montpellier last week, retired due to illness in the third against against Marcos Baghdatis. The Cypriot was leading 6-0, 6-7(3), 4-0 after 82 minutes of play.

Fifth-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon became the first player to reach the quarter-finals after he converted five of his nine break point opportunities to beat Italian qualifier Matteo Viola 6-3, 6-1 in 72 minutes.

Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, last month’s Brisbane International runner-up (l. to Murray) and the youngest player left in the Rotterdam draw at 21, also reached the last eight by winning the final match of the day, 7-5, 6-3, over four-time former semi-finalist Nikolay Davydenko of Russia.

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