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Federer continues successful comeback

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:22

Federer is playing in his first ATP Tour event after overcoming a nagging back problem which has kept him out since losing to world number one Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open in January.

But he showed no signs of struggling with any injury as he cruising past Karlovic in 73 minutes, a win which follows on from his straight-sets victory over Frenchman Marc Gicquel in the opening round.

Fourth seed Andy Murray continued also his comeback from illness by easing into the fourth round of the men’s event at the expense of Paul-Henri Mathieu.

The 21-year-old saw off the Frenchman 6-3 6-2 in only his second singles match since withdrawing from the Dubai Open quarter-finals last month with a virus.

Murray will play Spain’s Tommy Robredo who saw off Marin Cilic 7-5 7-6 (7/2), while 10th seed Fernando Verdasco, playing in his first tournament since beating Murray on his way to the Australian Open semi-finals, blitzed Richard Gasquet 6-3 6-2.

The explosive Spaniard had too much power for his French opponent and rattled off five games in row to seal victory and a fourth-round meeting with Philipp Kohlschreiber. The German today won a battle of the unseeded players with Ecuador’s Nicolas Lapentti, triumphing 6-2 3-6 6-3.

Fernando Gonzalez continued his winning run against James Blake to oust the 13th seed in a 7-5 6-1 victory, Croatian Ivan Ljubicic earned the biggest upset of the day with a 6-3 7-6 (7/3) win over eighth-seeded Gilles Simon of France, and number 22 Igor Andreev of Russia beat 11th-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5 6-4 in the day’s late match.

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