Federer cruises in clay start

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MONTE CARLO, April 12- Roger Federer marched into the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters Tuesday as the three-time finalist inflicted a 6-2, 6-1 defeat on German Philipp Kohlschreiber.

World number three Federer, seeded second in the knee injury absence of Novak Djokovic, earned a sixth victory without a loss against the 32nd-ranked Kohlschreiber.

"I was able to do all the things I was hoping to." said the satisfied Swiss.

"I was consistent, consistently dangerous, too. I felt well in the offence, and in the defence I was fine.

"It was a quick match but it’s up to me to back it up in the next match really."

Federer, losing finalist at the Country Club 2006-2008 against Rafael Nadal, was the first of the major players to go into action after a bye, with top seed Nadal and number three Andy Murraymaking their 2011 Monte Carlo debuts on Wednesday.

Nadal, aiming for an historic seventh straight trophy here, had an early-morning fitness session with women’s Monte Carlo-based number one Caroline Wozniacki, who had played an exhibition at the club on Monday.

Federer’s brief and efficient victory in 50 minutes left him undefeated in 47 straight matches against Germans dating to June, 2002, when he lost to Nicolas Kiefer in Halle.

"Clearly a good start for me into the clay court season," said the winner.

"Not much I can take out of this match, I think, except maybe that I varied it well that he couldn’t play his game.

"He wasn’t able to or he couldn’t really play aggressive the way maybe he was hoping to do today.

"I could finish the point almost whenever I wanted to. I was actually quite surprised I was having no problems with his serve. I wasn’t struggling when he was giving me the heavy forehand roller or the backhand roller, which he’s really good at."

The Federer victory was his 23rd of the season against four losses, three against Djokovic and his last to Nadal in the Miami semi-finals. Against Kohlschreiber he lost just two points in three games as he made a fast start.

The 16-time grand slam champion is playing Monte Carlo for the first time since 2009, when he lost in the third round to countryman Stanislas Wawrinka.

Federer has played the event on nine previous occasions, and now stands 22-9 at the tournament.

The Swiss admitted he was relieved to have gotten of a flyer in his first clay match of the Roland Garros run-up campaign.

"It’s a bit nerve wracking. You figure if you get off to a bad start, you figure, ‘Hmm, what am I going to do to get back into it?’

"You can stay calm as much as you want to. If you are not getting the returns back into play the way you want to and you are doing all the running, that’s quite stressful.

"None of that this year, which I’m happy about. I can look forward."

In a pair of first-round results, French 16th seed Gilles Simon defeated Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci 6-3, 6-2 while Spain’s Feliciano Lopez overcame Serb Janko Tipsarevic in a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) fightback.

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