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Federer stays on course

Federer made light work of Uhlirach

(Keystone Archive)

Swiss tennis star Roger Federer has enjoyed another win at the Masters Series tournament in Hamburg and seems finally to be finding his feet on clay.

With less than two weeks to go until the French Open, the Swiss number one appears to be growing in confidence on his least favourite surface.

Having seen off Ecuadorian clay court specialist Nicolas Lapentti (ATP 29) on Tuesday, Federer (ATP 14) enjoyed another straight sets win on Wednesday - this time beating the Czech Republic's Bohdan Ulihrach (ATP 42) 6-3, 6-0.

Before arriving in Hamburg, the 20-year-old Swiss had made early exits from his two previous clay-court tournaments in Rome and Monte Carlo.

Hingis struggling

Martina Hingis's prospects for Roland Garros and possibly beyond are looking far less healthy with the former world number one continuing to suffer from a recurring foot injury.

The 21-year-old star has already been forced to pull out of this week's Italian Open as well as last week's German Open in Berlin.

On Wednesday her manager Mario Widmer said Hingis would probably not be fit in time for the French Open - the only Grand Slam title yet to elude her, while Hingis's doctor Heinz Bühlmann was later reported to have told Switzerland's Radio 24 that the injury could even be career-threatening.

Schnyder out in Rome

Swiss women's number two Patty Schnyder (WTA 20) suffered a setback of a less worrying nature on Wednesday, losing to France's Mary Pierce (WTA 172) in the second round of the Italian Open.

In a see-sawing match against the former French Open winner, Schnyder lost the opening set 3-6 then rallied 6-1 in the second before losing the deciding set 2-6.

Although the result looks like a major upset in terms of ranking places, Pierce's position in the world pecking order is deceptive. The former top five player suffered a big slide down the rankings due to several long-term injury problems, but now seems to be fighting her way back.

swissinfo with agencies

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