HALLE // Roger Federer booked his place in the quarter-finals of the Gerry Weber Open last night after beating Jan Vacek in straight sets. The five-time defending champion struggled to find his fluency in the first set before easing to a 7-5, 6-3 win over the Czech qualifier in 69 minutes. Federer did not offer Vacek a single break point and obtained key breaks of serve himself in the 12th game of the first set and the eighth game of the second to record his 56th consecutive win on grass.
The World No1 said: "Jan played very cleverly. I did not find my rhythm for quite a long time. But I kept my composure, stayed calm and waited for my chances to come. "When they came, I made the most of it, but it was difficult. When it happens that you can't play your game as you would like it and it isn't working, then it's a surprise. It was an awkward sort of match. "On the easy wins you feel good and don't think about it on the hard ones you think about what you have to do better."
Next up for the Swiss is a meeting with the no5 seed Marcos Baghdatis, the man he beat in the 2007 final. The Cypriot defeated France's Fabrice Santoro 6-4, 6-3 France's Michael Llodra also reached the quarter-finals by beating Steve Darcis of Belgium after claiming the two tie-breaks they played 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-3). But the fourth seed, Mikhail Youzhny was knocked out of the tournament by the unseeded German Nicolas Kiefer.
The Russian lost the first set in comprehensive fashion 6-2, but looked to have his form as he rallied to take the second set 7-5 and force a decider. But Kiefer finished the stronger as he won the final set 6-3 to seal his victory. * PA Sport