Roger Federer eases past Kohlschreiber in Monte Carlo

Roger Federer
Federer has never won the Monte Carlo title

World number three Roger Federer is through to the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters after thrashing Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2 6-1.

The Swiss second seed was too powerful for his German opponent, breaking his serve four times in total.

The 16-time Grand Slam champion wrapped up victory in just 50 minutes courtesy of his fifth ace of the match.

Also through to round three is fifth seed Tomas Berdych, who beat Belgian Olivier Rochus 6-2 6-3.

Joining Berdych is Croatian Ivan Ljubicic after his 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 victory over 12th-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

"I felt I was playing extremely well for a set and a half," said Tsonga. "But I was not ahead in the score. Many things went wrong: bad bounces and I also I missed the important points.

"I'm playing better tennis but I'm not winning, and that is frustrating."

Earlier on Tuesday, French 16th seed Gilles Simon sealed a comfortable 6-3 6-2 first-round win over Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci.

Having been elevated to second seed because of the withdrawal of in-form world number two Novak Djokovic through injury, Federer took the chance to lay down a marker on Tuesday and show he remains a major force in men's tennis.

The 29-year-old demonstrated none of the doubts that have plagued him on clay in the past with a dominant display of power and accuracy.

He broke Kohlschreiber's serve early in both sets to give himself the advantage in each, and rescued the only break point against him with an ace.

Marin Cilic will play the winner of the first round tie between Spaniard Pere Riba and Potito Starace of Italy for the right to meet Federer in round three.

"I managed to vary the game well and not make too many mistakes," said Federer, whose only title win this year was at the Qatar Open in January.

"I was able to do all the things I was hoping to. I was consistent; consistently dangerous, too. I felt well in the offence, and in the defence I was fine."

The world number two, who trained with Kohlschreiber last summer, has only ever lost one set to him - in a tie-break at Wimbledon two years ago.

"I think he can play a lot better than he did today," Federer said. "Sometimes there are opponents it works really well against. Others, you realise you have to work the point differently. I know how good Philipp is and how heavy his ball actually is. I was actually quite surprised I was having no problems with his serve."

World number one Rafael Nadal begins his campaign on Wednesday with a second-round match against Jarkko Nieminen of Finland and Federer said: "He's clearly the overwhelming favourite for this tournament.

"Look, we all know how good Rafa is on this surface. He rarely struggles against guys out of the top 20."