Roger Federer looked like being back to something near his best in Lisbon yesterday when he overpowered Victor Hanescu 6-3, 6-2 at the clay-court Estoril Open to advance to the quarter-finals.
The Swiss, playing in occasional light drizzle, conceded just 10 points in his service games to win in an hour. "The rain really made it difficult today," Federer said. "It's a good test so far."
Federer produced two superb passing shots – one forehand, one backhand – on his way to breaking Hanescu in the fourth game of the opening set. The Romanian tried to put pressure on Federer's backhand but the Swiss hit some of his best shots off that side.
Federer broke Hanescu's serve twice in the second set and made 28 unforced errors in the match – roughly half the number he made in his opening match.
Federer is beginning the European clay-court season at Estoril after failing to reach a final in four tournaments this year. He has hired coach Jose Higueras, a clay specialist, for the event in Portugal which is part of his preparation for the French Open.
Also in the second round, Jiri Vanek of the Czech Republic beat eighth-seeded Michael Berrer, of Germany, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.
In the women's event, second-seeded Russian Maria Kirilenko beat Petra Cetkovska, of the Czech Republic, 6-3, 6-2. Seventh-seeded Sofia Arvidsson, of Sweden, lost to Ukrainian Olga Savchuk 6-2, 6-2. Maret Ani, of Estonia, also advanced.