Roger Federer made his debut on the controversial blue clay in Madrid 2012 against Milos Raonic, surviving all challenges to prevail in the decisive tie-break and set up the third-round meeting with Richard Gasquet. In the previous 11 meetings, the Swiss scored nine victories over the Frenchman, and the tenth was never in doubt, beating Gasquet 6-3, 6-2 in 58 minutes to find himself in the quarter-finals.
Federer lost 15 points in nine service games, dodging the two break opportunities he faced to keep the serve intact and increase the pressure on the opponent. Gasquet couldn't match those numbers, breaking three times to push Roger into the last eight.
Roger shot 31 winners and 18 unforced errors, holding the match strings firmly in his hands and dominating the opponent in each segment to advance to the next round. It was important for Federer to score such a dominating victory in less than an hour, lose a lot of energy in the first clash, and gain momentum before the next hurdle.
Roger made a great start and closed the opening game with a forehand winner, delivering another comfortable serve turn in game three and stealing Gasquet's serve with a return winner to open a 3-1 lead. Another bullet to the right of him knocked Federer forward later before experiencing first serve problems in the seventh game.
The Swiss took advantage of a break opportunity to keep his serve intact and open a 5-2 gap. Serving for the set in the ninth game, Roger hit four service winners to get the job done in 27 minutes, looking good on the court and expecting more of the same in set number two.
Unable to keep up or impose his blows, Richard double faulted in the first game to suffer an instant break and sprayed a backhand error at 1-3 to fall further behind. On the other hand, Federer did everything right and had a chance to serve for victory in game eight.
The Frenchman created a break opportunity that Roger denied with an ace on the T line, sealing the deal with two more aces to meet in the quarterfinals.
Roger Federer is almost the perfect tennis player
The 39-year-old is currently preparing for the 2021 Geneva Open, where he is the top seed.
Ahead of the tournament, Roger Federer spoke to the media where he gave his thoughts about the Tokyo Olympics. "I would love to play in the Olympics, win a medal for Switzerland, that would make me so proud," added the Swiss.
Roger Federer further claimed that while there could always be a situation where the Games are called off, as an athlete you can always choose to skip the event voluntarily. "At the moment, we have the impression that it will," Roger Federer continued.
"We know it's a fluid situation. And also you can also decide as an athlete if you want to go. If you feel there's a lot of resistance, maybe it's better not to go. I don't know."