Roger Federer made a debut on the controversial blue clay in Madrid 2012 against Milos Raonic, surviving all the challenges to prevail in the deciding tie break and set the third-round encounter with Richard Gasquet. In the previous 11 meetings, the Swiss scored nine wins over the Frenchman and the tenth one was never in doubt, sprinting past Gasquet 6-3, 6-2 in 58 minutes to find himself in the quarter-final.
Federer lost 15 points in nine service games, fending off both break chances he faced to keep the initial shot intact and mount the pressure on the opponent who couldn't match those numbers, getting broken three times to push Roger into the last eight.
Firing 31 winners and 18 unforced errors, Federer was in front all the time, throwing everything he had on Gasquet and having the upper hand from start to finish to seal the deal in style and save energy for the next obstacle following that scary opening match that could have knocked him out from the tournament.
Roger closed the opening game with a forehand winner, delivering another comfortable hold in game three and stealing Gasquet's serve with a return winner to open a 3-1 lead. Another bullet from his forehand pushed Federer further in front before fending off a break chance in game seven to remain 5-2 up.
Serving for the set in the ninth game, Roger landed four service winners to get the job done in 27 minutes, looking good on the court and hoping for more of the same in set number two. There, Richard hit a double fault in the first game to suffer an instant break, spraying a backhand error at 1-3 to fall further behind and allow Federer to serve for the victory in game eight.
The Frenchman created a break chance that Roger denied with an ace down the T line, sealing the deal with two aces to find himself in the quarter-final.