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Returning Roger Federer easily beats Radek Stepanek to reach Monte Carlo Masters third round

  • Monte Carlo Tennis Masters -1.jpg

    Roger Federer of Switzerland, returns the ball to Radek Stepanek Czech Republic during their match at the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters tournament in Monaco, Wednesday, April 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Michel Euler) (The Associated Press)

  • Monte Carlo Tennis Masters -2.jpg

    Roger Federer of Switzerland, returns the ball to Radek Stepanek Czech Republic during their match at the Monte Carlo Tennis Masters tournament in Monaco, Wednesday, April 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Michel Euler) (The Associated Press)

Roger Federer eased into the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters after beating veteran Radek Stepanek 6-1, 6-2 in 52 minutes on Wednesday.

Federer, returning to the tournament for the first time since 2011, was in ruthless mood as he raced to 5-0 in 17 minutes. The 17-time Grand Slam champion improved his record against the 35-year-old Stepanek to 14-2. The Czech has not beaten Federer since the quarterfinals of the Rome Masters six years ago.

The fourth-seeded Federer next plays another Czech, Lukas Rosol, who beat Frenchman Michael Llodra 6-4, 6-4.

Federer has never won Monte Carlo, losing in three straight finals to Rafael Nadal from 2006-08.

The eight-time champion Nadal was in action late Wednesday against qualifier Teymuraz Gabashvili.