Roger Federer to face bogeyman Canas in Rome

ROME Mon May 5, 2008 7:10pm EDT

Roger Federer of Switzerland returns the ball to Rafael Nadal of Spain during their final match in the Monte Carlo Masters Series tennis tournament in Monaco April 27, 2008. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Roger Federer of Switzerland returns the ball to Rafael Nadal of Spain during their final match in the Monte Carlo Masters Series tennis tournament in Monaco April 27, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Eric Gaillard

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ROME (Reuters) - Roger Federer will face his bogeyman Guillermo Canas in the second round of the Rome Masters after the Argentine beat Italian wildcard Gianluca Naso 6-7 6-3 6-2 on Monday.

Canas is one of the few players on tour to have a winning record against the world number one -- triumphing in three of their five clashes -- but on Monday he had to work hard to book a meeting with the Swiss.

After trading breaks midway through the first set, Naso continued to pile on the pressure and eventually bagged the first set 10-8 in the tiebreak.

The Argentine capitalized on Naso's unforced errors in the second set to get the break and then cruised home.

Federer has a bye to the second round along with Rafael Nadal, who is aiming for his fourth consecutive Rome Masters title.

Britain's Andy Murray went through after Argentine qualifier Juan Martin del Potro retired in the third set of a game that was delayed until late and briefly suspended because of rain.

The Scot seemed frustrated at times with an erratic showing and was warned by the referee for foul language at one point. He recovered two breaks in the first set only to fail to hold his serve in the last game and lose it 7-5.

IN PAIN

Murray gradually regained concentration in the second, taking it 6-4. He had broken serve to go 1-0 up in the third when his opponent conceded in evident pain with a back problem.

Murray earned himself a meeting with Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka, who defeated former world number one Marat Safin 6-7 6-2 6-1.

Richard Gasquet's shaky form continued when the French ninth seed was beaten 6-4 6-1 by Peruvian qualifier Luis Horna in the first round.

Gasquet, the only world top 10 player not to have reached an ATP quarter-final this year, fell apart after losing his serve in the seventh game of the first set with two consecutive double faults.

"Today I played maybe my worst match of the year," Gasquet told a news conference. "After I started losing the first set I lost all my confidence and I was really lost on court. Anyone here could have beaten me today."

Belgium's Steve Darcis will meet Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic after edging past Croat Ivan Ljubicic 7-5 7-6.

Argentina's Juan Monaco, the 13th seed, beat Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas 6-0 6-4 and will meet Igor Andreev after the Russian defeated Korean Lee Hyung-taik 6-4 7-5.

(Reporting by Paul Virgo; Editing by Sonia Oxley)

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