Djokovic, Federer Lead Seven Of Top Eight Seeds Into QFs
by Press Release|
Top seeds Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer overcame strong opposition to reach the quarter-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Wednesday.
Defending champion Djokovic defeated Sergiy Stakhovsky 7-6, 6-3, and Federer beat Feliciano Lopez 7-5, 6-3, but neither found it easy to get past talented and stubborn opponents.
Djokovic had to be patient as he sought an advantage, and found himself down break point, which would have left Stakhovsky serving for the first set at 5-3. But the Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open champion fired two aces to get himself out of trouble and hold for 4-4, and although he then failed to take advantage of a break point of his own at 5-5, he edged through the tie-break 7-5.
The second set was just as close, as Stakhovsky claimed the first break of the match to lead 2-1. But Djokovic responded by breaking back for 3-3 and then reeled off the last three games as a double fault left him serving for a well-earned victory.
"He’s been playing well the last couple of years here in Dubai and reached quarter-finals last year," said Djokovic. "I was expecting a lot of serve and volley attacks, especially after first serve. He was using it really well, making my return games very difficult. I was fortunate to use the opportunity when it was presented."
Federer was in great form against Lopez, giving up just nine points on serve. But he still had to battle hard to overcome the player he beat in the 2004 Dubai final.
Neither player faced a break point until, with Federer leading 5-4, Lopez had to fight off three set points in a seven-deuce game. But although he escaped with that game to hold for 5-5, Federer got the break he was seeking at 6-5 to take the set.
The four-time former champion left it late in the second set too, breaking to lead 5-3 when Lopez netted a forehand.
"It was difficult," said Federer. "I've never played him when he was ranked so high and potentially so confident. It was tough getting used to his serve early on. I wasn't having many looks. He was serving aces left and right.
"I just tried to focus on my serve, made sure from that end I wasn't doing any stupid stuff, and at the end I got a bit of a read on his serve. At the end of the set, had some chances and eventually was able to come through."
Andy Murray also progressed, the third seed defeating Marco Chiudinelli 6-3 6-4 and looking far more comfortable than in his opening round. He didn’t face a break point in the entire match, claiming victory with a single break of serve in each set.
There was victory too for fourth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who overcame Lukas Rosol 6-3 6-4. Tsonga now meets Juan Martin del Potro, the number eight seed, who was too strong for Andrey Golubev, winning 6-4, 6-2.
Fifth seed Tomas Berdych also eased into the quarter-finals with a comfortable 6-1, 6-2 win over Lukas Lacko.
Seventh seed Janko Tipsarevic dropped the opening set against Flavio Cipolla but then dominated the rest of the match to win 6-7, 6-1, 6-1, but eighth seed Mardy Fish was beaten 6-2, 7-6 by former finalist Mikhail Youzhny.
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, which is owned and organised by Dubai Duty Free and held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, continues until 3rd March.
- Djokovic Beats Berdych To Win Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships
- Bhupathi Wins Fifth Dubai Title With Llodra
- Djokovic And Berdych To Content Final Of Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships
- Djokovic To Play Del Potro; Federer Faces Berdych In Dubai SFs
- Del Potro Reaches Semi-Finals Of Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships
- Berdych Takes A Spin