Federer, Djokovic stretched

Rome: World No. 1 Roger Federer defeated giant Croatian Ivo Karlovic 7-6(4), 6-3 in his third round clash while Novak Djokovic overcame Russian Igor Andreev 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 to reach the quarterfinals of the Rome Masters on Thursday.

Federer had six break points against Karlovic in the first set but each one was saved by booming serves. Yet in the first set tie-break, Federer made the breakthrough at 5-4 with a brilliant forehand return pass before a netted backhand from Karlovic handed him the set. In the second set, Karlovic’s serve was not so potent and Federer broke twice.

‘In doubles action, fourth seeds Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles lost 6-7(4), 6-4, 10-7 by Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco in the second round. Leander Paes and Paul Hanley also crashed out, losing 4-6, 6-3, 10-6 to Marcin Matkowski and Maruisz Frystenberg.

Henin upset

In the German Open at Berlin, World No. 1 Justine Henin suffered a shock 5-7, 6-3, 6-1 third-round loss to Russian Dinara Safina. Third seeded Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova lost 1-6, 6-2, 6-2 to Alona Bondarenko.

The results: At Rome (Rome Masters) Third round: Nicolas Almagro w/o Fernando Gonzalez; Radek Stepanek bt Luis Horna 6-4, 1-6, 6-3; Novak Djokovic bt Igor Andreev 6-3, 3-6, 6-3; Roger Federer bt Ivo Karlovic 7-6(4), 6-3; James Blake bt Fernando Verdasco 5-7, 7-5, 6-2. Doubles: Second round: Feliciano Lopez & Fernando Verdasco bt Mahesh Bhupathi & Mark Knowles 6-7(4), 6-4, 10-7; Marcin Matkowski & Mariusz Fyrstenberg 4-6, 6-3, 10-6.

At Berlin (German Open): Third round: Dinara Safina bt Justine Henin 5-7, 6-3, 6-1; Alona Bondarenko bt Svetlana Kuznetsova 1-6, 6-2, 6-2; Jelena Jankovic bt Maria Kirilenko 6-2, 6-4; Serena Williams bt Agnieszka Radwanska 6-3, 6-1; Elena Dementieva bt Vera Dushevina 7-5, 6-3; Agnes Szavay bt Marion Bartoli 7-5, 7-5. — Agencies

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