Federer crushes Canas to reach Madrid quarters

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MADRID, Oct 18 (Reuters) Holder Roger Federer crushed Argentine Guillermo Canas 6-0 6-3 to take his place in the Madrid Masters quarter-finals today.

The world number one made a whirlwind start on the super-fast greenset surface at the Madrid Arena by rattling through the first set, leaving Canas totally bemused.

The Argentine managed stiffer resistance in the second set but still could not cope with the technical brilliance of the 26-year-old Swiss, who will play either Stefan Koubek or Feliciano Lopez in the last eight.

''I took my chances and always felt in control. It was a good feeling out there,'' said Federer who had lost three of his four previous meetings with Canas.

Earlier, third seed Novak Djokovic fended off a determined Juan Carlos Ferrero to claim his place in the quarters with a 6-3 2-6 6-4 victory.

Djokovic, who includes two Masters Series shields amongst his five titles in a breakthrough season, started sharply and took the first set with some ease.

But former world number one Ferrero, whose last tournament win came in Madrid back in 2003, refused to fold and survived five break points in the opening game of the second set.

The Spaniard's resistance appeared to boost his confidence and the 27-year-old, who beat Carlos Moya in the second round, hit back to break Djokovic in the second game.

He steadied his own serve, stretched Djokovic around the court in the succeeding games and then broke again with some deft play at the net to take the set 6-2.

NET ERROR Djokovic broke in the opening game of the decisive set when he forced Ferrero into an error at the net and held off the battling Spaniard to clinch a win that sets up a quarter-final showdown with Mario Ancic.

The Croat, who beat James Blake in the last round, claimed a comfortable 6-4 6-3 win over Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu.

Last year's losing finalist Fernando Gonzalez breezed into the last eight with an emphatic 6-4 6-2 victory over Argentine Juan Monaco.

The win also took the fifth-seeded Chilean a step closer to securing his place at the season-ending Masters Cup in Shanghai for the second time in his career.

Gonzalez, who lost to Federer in last year's Madrid final, had little problem disposing of Monaco. He eased through the first set and then cranked up the pressure in the second to break twice and wrap up victory in just over an hour.

The Chilean, who also lost to Federer in this year's Australian Open final, will meet the winner of the match between Germany's Nicolas Kiefer and big-serving Croat Ivo Karlovic.

Later today world number two Rafael Nadal faces in-form British number one Andy Murray in the stand-out match of the third round.

REUTERS BJR KN2127

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