Federer downs Moodie to reach Japan Open quarterfinals

Thursday, October 5th 2006, 8:56 am
By: News On 6

TOKYO (AP) _ Top-ranked Roger Federer coasted to a 6-2, 6-1 win over defending champion Wesley Moodie on Thursday to advance to the Japan Open quarterfinals.

Federer established control early, breaking Moodie to go up 4-2 in the first set and slamming five aces before beating the 13th-seeded South African in just 52 minutes.

``I was expecting a tough match,'' said Federer. ``I had trouble returning yesterday so I thought it would be tough today, but I served well and made some incredible shots.''

Federer, who is playing in his first tournament since winning the U.S. Open last month, was sluggish in his opening match Wednesday against qualifier Viktor Troicki but looked back to his dominant form Thursday.

He broke Moodie with a crosscourt backhand to take a 2-0 lead in the second set and closed out the match by winning the final three games.

Federer, who has won three majors this year, improved to 46-2 on hardcourts.

Moodie, who beat Mario Ancic for last year's Japan Open title, won the second game of the first set with three aces, but wasn't able to keep up with Federer after that.

``I knew his serve was big,'' said Federer. ``He hit two great serves and then got another ace, but I don't remember him getting many more aces after that.''

Federer next will face Takao Suzuki of Japan, who posted a hard-fought 6-7 (4), 7-6 (10), 6-1 win over Germany's Alexander Waske.

Suzuki, who recently recovered from a shoulder injury, is playing in his first ATP tournament since the Australian Open.

In Thursday's late matches, second-seeded Tommy Robredo of Spain played America's Vince Spadea, Russian No. 6 Dmitry Tursunov met ninth-seeded Lee Hyung-taik of South Korea, fifth-seeded Jarkko Nieminen of Finland faced Argentina's Juan Monaco and Germany's Benjamin Becker took on Jiri Novak of the Czech Republic.

Rain played havoc with scheduled men's and women's play at the Ariake Colosseum Thursday with 12 matches postponed.

In women's second round matches, second-seeded Ai Sugiyama of Japan defeated Vania King of the United States 6-4, 5-7, 7-5, while France's Youlia Fedossova downed Akiko Morigami of Japan, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.