Federer in destructive mood in Monte Carlo

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Roger Federer 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 Tuesday.

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 took the chance to lay down a marker and show he is not yet a spent force by immediately finding his rhythm against Kohlschreiber with forehand and backhand.

The day had started grey and cold but just as the Swiss stepped on court the sun burst through the clouds, the stands filled up and the crowd gave him a superb reception despite their love of six-times Monte Carlo champion Nadal.

Second seed Federer, who has never won the title here, has long battled an inferiority complex on clay despite his 2009 French Open title but there was no sign of nerves against the hapless German apart from a mini-wobble late in the first set.

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.

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