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Federer avenges Rome defeat by Stepanek

  • Story Highlights
  • Roger Federer is through to last eight in Rome after beating Radek Stepanek
  • The straight sets win avenged the second seed's loss to the Czech last year
  • Defending champion Novak Djokovic defeats Tommy Robredo in straight sets
  • Top seed Rafael Nadal is completely dominant as he blitzes Robin Soderling
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(CNN) -- Second seed Roger Federer is through to the last eight of the Rome Masters after beating 16th seed Radek Stepanek in straight sets to gain revenge for his defeat by the Czech in last year's quarters.

Roger Federer is through the quarterfinals in Rome after defeating Radek Stepanek with ease.

Roger Federer is through the quarterfinals in Rome after defeating Radek Stepanek with ease.

The Swiss world number two took just 68 minutes to secure a comfortable 6-4 6-1 victory in a reversal of their 2008 meeting on the Roman clay, when Stepanek progressed to the semis after two tie-breaks.

Federer, a finalist here in 2003 and 2006, will next face qualifier Mischa Zverev of Germany -- who stunned French eighth seed Gilles Simon 6-4 6-1 -- as he attempts to win his first title of the season.

Elsewhere, holder Novak Djokovic also breezed into the last eight with a convincing 6-1 6-1 victory over 13th-seeded Spaniard Tommy Rodrebo, while fifth seed Juan Martin del Potro dropped the second set before edging past Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka, last year's beaten finalist, 6-2 6-7 6-3.

Then, in the evening match, top seed and world number one Rafael Nadal -- who missed out on the Rome Masters last year after a shock defeat by Juan Carlos Ferrero -- underlined how dominant he is on clay by blitzing Swede Robin Soderling 6-1 6-0.

Meanwhile, Argentina's Juan Monaco continued his fine run with a straight sets victory over 15th-seeded Croatian Marin Cilic.

The gritty clay courter had to qualify for the main draw at the Foro Italico but claimed his first scalp on Wednesday as he put out world number four Andy Murray in three sets.

World number 58 Monaco had an easier passage against Cilic, winning 6-4 6-4 to earn a quarterfinal clash against 12th seed Fernando Gonzalez of Chile.

Gonzalez, who reached the Rome final in 2007 needed just under two hours to beat Austrian Jurgen Melzer 3-6 6-3 7-5.

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