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Federer Produces Service Masterclass Against Karlovic In Miami

Miami, U.S.A.

Federer© Getty ImagesTwo-time former champion Roger Federer has a 42-12 record in Miami.

Fifth seed Roger Federer defeated the ATP World Tour’s 2014 ace-leader Ivo Karlovic, 6-4, 7-6(4) on Friday for a place in the Sony Open Tennis third round. It was his 20th win in 23 matches this year.

Federer, who is making his 15th appearance at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 hard-court tournament in Miami, lifted the trophy in 2005 (d. Nadal) and 2006 (d. Ljubicic). He will next play Thiemo de Bakker, who upset No. 28 seed Fernando Verdasco 7-6(4), 6-7(3), 6-2.

Federer broke Karlovic in the fifth game and only lost one point on serve in the 29-minute opener. It came at 5-4, 40/0. Federer lost just one of his service points en route to the second set tie-break. He is now 11-1 lifetime against Karlovic, after securing the victory in 75 minutes. Vogue Editor-In-Chief Anna Wintour watched from Federer's box.

"I quite like it," said Federer about playing the big-serving Karlovic. "It's just uncomfortable at times when it comes to the crunch of the sets and you know this is probably your only chance in the set [to see a break point].

"So it can be quite difficult or overwhelming. But if you're in the right mindset mentally, it can also be enjoyable. That's how I approach the match, anyway."

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Last week, Federer reached his 35th ATP World Tour Masters 1000-level final at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells (l. to Djokovic). He picked up his 78th title overall at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships (d. Berdych) last month.

Karlovic, 35, has now hit 308 aces in 19 matches this season (11-8 record). He is one of six players to hit more than 8,000 aces in his career, including Goran Ivanisevic, Andy Roddick, Pete Sampras, Federer, Ivan Ljubicic and Karlovic.

Tommy Robredo, the No. 16 seed, beat qualifier Dominic Thiem 6-4, 7-6(8) in one hour and 42 minutes. Thiem rose to a career-high No. 86 in the Emirates ATP Rankings after reaching the Indian Wells third round last week.

Robredo will face Julien Benneteau in the third round in what will be their seventh FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting, after the Frenchman edged Ernests Gulbis 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 on Friday. Robredo holds a 4-2 advantage in the rivalry, having most recently fought past Benneteau in four sets at this year's Australian Open.

Benneteau, who is competing in Miami for the 10th time, is looking to maintain his good form following a quarter-final result in Indian wells last week (l. to Djokovic).

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