13 Apr 2011

Federer makes strong start to clay season

5:42 am on 13 April 2011

Roger Federer has reminded the tennis world of his destructive power with a 6-2 6-1 rout of German Philipp Kohlschreiber in the Monte Carlo Masters second round on Wednesday.

All the talk in the buildup to the first men's claycourt tournament of the year had been about the in-form Novak Djokovic and his recent domination of world number one Rafael Nadal.

But record 16-times grand slam champion Federer, who has never won the Monte Carlo title, and has long battled an inferiority complex on clay despite his 2009 French Open title, showed no sign of nerves against the hapless German.

Top seed Nadal starts his quest for a record seventh straight title in the principality on Wednesday when he takes on Finland's Jarkko Nieminen in the second round.

World number two Djokovic, who beat Nadal in the final in his last two tournaments, has skipped the event because of a minor knee injury.

Earlier, Frenchman Gilles Simon warmed up the home crowd with a 6-3 6-2 first-round win over Brazil's Thomaz Bellucci and Spain's Feliciano Lopez beat Serb Janko Tipsarevic 4-6 6-3 7-6.