Federer cruises in Istanbul debut, Kukushkin beaten

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Roger Federer made an exquisite start to his debut at the Istanbul Open with a straight-sets win over Jarkko Nieminen.

After his surprise early exit to Gael Monfils in Monte Carlo earlier this month, Federer has returned to the ATP Tour in Turkey as he looks to step up his preparations for the French Open and he showed encouraging signs in front of a packed centre court.

The top seed was ahead in the match after just 20 minutes, and he wrapped up a last-eight spot with a 6-2 7-5 victory in just over an hour.

Two breaks in the opening set put Federer in complete control of the match, and although Nieminen rallied in the second he was not able to make any inroads on the Federer serve.

The 17-time grand slam winner will meet Daniel Gimeno-Traver in the quarter-finals after the Spaniard dumped sixth seed Mikhail Kukushkin in straight sets.

After reaching the semi-final in Bucharest last week, Gimeno-Traver continued his good form on clay in Turkey with a 6-3 6-3 win.

While Kukushkin struggled, there were no problems for the other two seeds in action as Santiago Giraldo set up a clash with Diego Schwartzman.

The latter - the eighth seed - brushed aside Jurgen Melzer 6-0 6-2 in 53 minutes, while Giraldo, seeded four, was made to battle by qualifier Andrey Rublev before winning 6-4 1-6 6-3.