- Roger Federer defeats Carlos Berlocq after late decision to play in Rome Masters
- New world No. 2 only opted to compete in the tournament on Wednesday morning
- Federer has had two days off since claiming the Madrid Open title on Sunday
- Rafael Nadal and Tomas Berdych also enjoy victories on Wednesday
Roger Federer's late decision to compete at the Rome Masters paid dividends as he breezed past Carlos Berlocq on Wednesday.
The 16-time grand slam champion moved up to number two in the world above Spain's Rafael Nadal after winning the Madrid Open on Sunday and only opted to play in Italy on the morning of his second round match.
But the Swiss duly dispatched his Argentinean opponent 6-4 6-3 in his latest bid to claim a first Rome crown, having been beaten in the 2003 and 2006 finals. He will play Juan Carlos Ferrero next.
"I have a good win under my belt and I might be No. 3 next week, but that doesn't matter for me and Rafa," Federer told the ATP Tour's official website.
"I know it is an interesting time right now and that there is a lot to talk about rankings. I know that I have a shot until the U.S. Open with the rankings and we will see."
With a busy schedule that includes the French Open, Wimbledon, the Olympics and the U.S. Open fast approaching, Federer said he was close to giving this week's event a miss.
But after capturing his 74th career ATP title in Madrid, Federer told reporters a two-day break after Sunday's final afforded him sufficient time to recover.
"I only decided today after practice this morning," he said. "I wanted to see how I felt and that nothing major was bothering me. I'm happy I felt good out there, but I'm going round-by-round.
"We are ahead of a long summer, this is the start of many events in a row and potentially a lot of five-setters. I needed to make sure that I took a good decision."
Nadal bounced back from his third round exit in Madrid last week with a 6-1 7-5 victory over Germany's Florian Mayer to set up a clash with fellow Spaniard Marcel Granollers in round three.
Elsewhere, the 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro successfully negotiated his way past Russia's Mikhail Youzhny, winning 6-4 6-2 to set up a clash with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Tomas Berdych, who was beaten by Federer in the Madrid final, enjoyed a comfortable 6-4 6-1 victory over Poland's Lukasz Kubot.
There were also victories for Spain's Nicolas Almagro, who beat American qualifier Sam Querrey 7-5 6-2, and Argentina's Juan Monaco, who beat Radek Stepanek, from the Czech Republic, 6-4 6-2.
In the women's draw, No. 3 seed Agnieszka Radwanska, from Poland, was stunned by Czech Petra Cetkovska, who won their encounter 6-4 4-6 6-1.
Former world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki is also out after she retired during her clash with Spain's Anabel Medina Garrigues due to breathing difficulties.
Serena Williams, who won the Madrid Open last week, defeated Russia's Nadia Petrova 4-6 6-2 6-3 while No. 5 seed Samantha Stosur edged out Sara Errani, of Italy, 6-3 7-5.
There were also victories for China's Li Na ahead of the defense of her French Open title, and Germany's Angelique Kerber.