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Federer, Djokovic on Course in Dubai
By Chris Oddo
(February 27, 2013) --
In a star-studded evening session at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Champions, the top two players in the world moved through to the quarterfinals in straight sets.
of Spain, 6-3, 6-4, while
survived a late challenge from Spain's
Federer and Djokovic have combined to win eight of the last ten titles in Dubai, with only
(2008) breaking the chain of dominance set by the world's current top two players.
Federer was first to move through with a business like effort against Marcel Granollers. After dropping a set to Tunisian wildcard
, Federer put forth a more focused effort to down the Spaniard in seventy-one minutes.
"I thought I was sharp," said Federer in an on-court interview, "I knew what I wanted to do and I was able to do it."
Federer, who seemed much more at ease on the fast surface in Dubai in his second match in Dubai, came in behind his forehand frequently, using the speed of the court to take time away from Granollers whenever he could.
Federer broke to lead 4-2 in the second set after a Granollers double-fault gave him three break points.
The World No. 2 broke decisively in the fifth game of the second set, and used his pinpoint serve to keep Granollers quiet down the stretch. Federer won 32 of 38 first serve points on the day and saved all three break points he faced, including one at 3-2 in the second seat and two at 4-3.
He will face
in the quarterfinals, a player that he has defeated in 18 of 20 previous matchups.
Novak Djokovic faced a bit more of a challenge against another Spaniard in the last match of the evening, but the World No. 1 came through after a testy battle for control late in the second set to advance to the quarterfinals.
Djokovic, a three-time champion in Dubai, looked to be headed for a short night when World No. 55 Robert Bautista-Augut rallied to win three consecutive games to get back on serve at 5-5 in the second set.
After two holds, the 24-year-old took an early mini-break lead in the tiebreaker, but the class of Djokovic took over as the Serb won the last three points to clinch his tenth victory of the year in just over 90 minutes.
Djokovic will face Italian
in the quarterfinals. Seppi, seeded seventh, defeated Lukas Rosol in straight sets, 6-4, 7-6(4).
In other second-round action in Dubai, third-seeded
avenged a 2011 loss to
of Germany, 7-5, 6-1, while fourth-seeded
Juan Martin del Potro
took out India's
reached his second consecutive quarterfinal with an upset victory over
, 7-6(5), 2-6, 6-3.
(Photo Credit: Reuters)
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