Federer rolls on in Monte Carlo

MONTE CARLO: Roger Federer showed improving fitness during his comeback week after February knee surgery, with the four-time Monte Carlo Masters finalist rolling smoothly into the quarter-finals over Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 6-4 on Thursday.


The 34-year-old third seed is only two and a half months removed from the procedure he underwent after tweaking his knee off court after a semi-final loss at the Australian Open.

Federer said that his second win in three days in the Principality has left him feeling that his fitness is approaching 100 per cent.

“As long as I can go into a match feeling like I m all right and not thinking about the knee, it s all good.

“Even if it would flare up and I couldn t play tomorrow, I have a lot of information out of this tournament. I m getting closer to the peak in the sense of maximum movement against the best players on a tough surface.

“Everything that s going on right now at this tournament is great. I can rest for the next couple of weeks anyway.

“Even if I get a setback of a couple of days that the knee is not well, you rest it, take up training, take as much time as you need. I feel like I m in a great place right now.”

French eighth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will face Federer after defeating countryman Lucas Pouille 6-4, 6-4 while Marcel Granollers put out 11th seed David Goffin of Belgium, 7-6 (7/1), 6-4.

Gael Monfils humiliated Czech Jiri Vesely 6-1, 6-2 after the outsider shocked Dokovic in the second round.