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Federer eases into Monte Carlo third round

The former world number barely broke a sweat, thrashing Czech Radek Stepanek on Wednesday.

Former world number one Roger Federer. Picture: AFP

LONDON - Former world number one Roger Federer barely broke sweat as he breezed into the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters with a 6-1 6-2 thrashing of Czech Radek Stepanek on Wednesday.

The Swiss, who has a record 17 grand slam titles, will face another Czech, Lukas Rosol, after dismissing the experienced Stepanek in less than an hour on the Monte Carlo Country Club's clay.

Fourth-seeded Federer, back in the principality for the first time since 2011, saved two break points and stole his opponent's serve four times in a quick master class.

Earlier, eighth seed Milos Raonic of Canada was made to work to overcome South Korea's Yen-hsun Lu 6-7(4) 6-2 6-1.

World number one Rafael Nadal, looking to recapture his Monte Carlo crown after Serb Novak Djokovic last year ended the Spaniard's eight-year reign, was playing Russian qualifier Teymuraz Gabashvili.

Since losing to Djokovic in last year's final, eight-times French Open champion Nadal has won all his 28 matches on clay.

Swiss third seed and Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka will face big-serving Croatian Marin Cilic.