Federer struggles at Monte Carlo

April 17, 2007 at 3:31 PM
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MONTE CARLO, Monaco, April 17 (UPI) -- World No. 1 Roger Federer again had trouble on clay, needing tiebreakers to beat a qualifier at the $2.2 million Masters Series Monte Carlo tournament.

The rich tournament is seen as a tune-up for next month's French Open, which is also played on clay and is the only major tournament Federer hasn't won.

Federer was pushed in his 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (8-6) win over qualifier Andreas Seppi in second-round action Tuesday at Monte Carlo. Seppi saved a pair of match points before falling.

Federer next goes against Lee Hyung-taik, who upset 13th-seeded Mikhail Youzhny, 6-4, 6-3, in the tournament's Round of 16.

Second-round winners Tuesday included Kristof Vliegen, who defeated Marat Safin 0-6, 7-6 (10-8), 6-4; and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, who stopped Marc Gicquel, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3.

In first-round action, 10th-seeded Tomas Berdych advanced when Nicolas Almagro retired; 11th-seeded Richard Gasquet won, 7-5, 6-7 (12-14), 7-6 (7-3), over Fernando Verdasco; and 12th-seeded David Ferrer, who defeated Gilles Simon, 6-3, 6-1.

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