Federer eases past Mahut in Rotterdam

    Roger Federer enjoyed a straight sets win over Nicolas Mahut at the ATP Tour 500 event in Rotterdam on Wednesday

    Story highlights

    • Roger Federer defeats France's Nicolas Mahut in his opening match at the ATP Tour event in Rotterdam
    • World number three now advances to the quarterfinals after third round opponent Mikhail Youzhny withdraws
    • Caroline Wozniacki knocked out of the Qatar Open by Lucie Safarova
    • New world number one Victoria Azarena thrashes Germany's Mona Barthel 6-1 6-0
    Roger Federer made light work of his opening match at the ATP Tour 500 event in Rotterdam on Wednesday beating Nicolas Mahut 6-4 6-4.
    The top seed took just over an hour to defeat the Frenchman in his first appearance at the tournament since 2005.
    It also marked a return to winning ways after recent disappointments at the Australian Open and Switzerland's Davis Cup defeat at the hands of the U.S. last weekend.
    The world number three now advances straight to the quarterfinals to face Jarkko Nieminen after his round-three opponent Russia's Mikhail Youzhny withdrew with a foot injury.
    "Any win is a good win. Frankly I'm glad to be in the quarterfinals. It's always tough to make the change from clay but after losing my last two singles matches a win is great," Federer said, AFP reported.
    "I had to get used to the conditions quickly. It was a good start, I came through well, Nicolas is a tough player," he added, AFP reported.
    Second seed Tomas Berdych is also safely through after beating fellow Czech Lukas Rosol in straight sets 6-4 6-2.
    Third seed Juan Martin del Potro is also into the next round after beating Michael Llodra in three sets 6-4 6-7(6-3) 6-4 in a match lasting nearly two-and-a-half hours.
    Marcos Baghdatis defeated German qualifier Matthias Bachinger 7-6 6-2 in 76 minutes, while Jarkko Nieminen faces Federer courtesy of a 6-3 5-7 7-6 win over Lukasz Kubot.
    Meanwhile at the Qatar Open in Doha, Caroline Wozniacki crashed out in the second round losing to Lucie Safarova in three sets 4-6 6-4 7-6.
    The Dane, who was playing her first match since being deposed by Belarusian Victoria Azarena as world number one, squandered three match points before finally losing out to the Czech left-hander in a final set tiebreaker.
    Safarova will now face Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, who defeated compatriot Maria Kirilenko 6-4 6-4.
    Wozniacki was seeded second for the tournament, but has dropped to fourth in the world after she was knocked out of the Australian Open at the quarterfinal stage.
    "It's really disappointing but you have to move on," Wozniacki said, AFP reported.
    There were no such problems, however, for the new number one and Australian Open winner Azarenka who won 6-1 6-0 against Germany's Mona Barthel to set up a third round meeting with Romania's Simona Halep.
    Defending champion Vera Zvonareva is out of the tournament after quitting her second round match with a hip injury in the second set against Romania's Monica Niculescu.
    Niculescu took the first set 7-5 and was leading 3-2 in the second when sixth seed Zvonareva pulled out of a match for the second consecutive week.
    Fourth-seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland beat Great Britain's Anne Keothavong comfortably 6-1 6-2 and fifth seed Marion Bartoli from France also had an easy day at the office beating Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-2 6-0.
    Australia's Samantha Stosur also advances after beating Romania's Sorana Cirstea 6-4 7-6 (7-4).
    But Serbia's Jelena Jankovic is out after losing in straight sets to Israel's Shahar Peer 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 while her compatriot Ana Ivanovic also lost, going down 6-4 6-4 to Petra Cetkovska from the Czech Republic.