Nadal, Federer Cruise in 2011 Openers; Verdasco Vanquished in Brisbane
Good starts today from both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in Doha. Nadal had no trouble hammering Karol Beck 6-3, 6-0 in his first official ATP match of 2011.
“It’s a good start of the year for me,” said Nadal who had been suffering from a cold the night before. “Right now I am focused and trying to play good tournament here.
“I think I finish the season playing better than ever in London. I think I practiced really well in Mallorca during all of December. The past two matches against Berdych and Roger in Abu Dhabi, my feeling was really good.”
Federer made the highlights with another tweener in his 7-6, 6-3 victory over unknown Thomas Schoorel.
“I was really impressed on how he just came out,” said Federer. “I thought he was a better player in the first set. I really felt I started getting into the match once I saved those break points, so I just got a bit of a better read on his serve. I was able to stay calm, go after what I wanted to do [and] played really tough tennis.”
Ernests Gulbis, Vicktor Troicki and Phil Kohlschreiber were also first round winners in the desert. Tomorrow, Federer returns against countryman Marco Chuidenelli while Nadal tangles with another Slovak, Lukas Lacko. All eight seeds are into the second round at Doha. A rarity for any 32-draw tour stop.
In Brisbane, 2010 finalist Fernando Verdasco followed up a poor 2010 finish with a opening season loss to Ben Becker 16-1, 6-7, 6-3. Top seed Robin Soderling breezed past Ryan Harrison 6-2, 6-4. Marcos Baghdatis, Mardy Fish and Radek Stepanek also advanced into the second round.
The marquee match Wednesday features defending champion Andy Roddick against Alexander Dologopov in what should be a good contest.
And in Chennai, Tomas Berdych romped with a 6-0, 6-1 thrashing of Federico Gil. So good start for Tomas who really had a bad second half to 2010. Tomorrow he’ll play Ivan Dodig.
No. 2 seed Marin Cilic was an earlier upset victim in Chennai.
WEDNESDAY DOHA SCHEDULE
CENTER COURT start 3:30 pm
[WC] S Bubka (UKR) vs  J Tsonga (FRA)
[Q] M Chiudinelli (SUI) vs  R Federer (SUI)
 R Nadal (ESP) vs L Lacko (SVK)
 N Davydenko (RUS) vs J Nieminen (FIN)
COURT 1 start 3:30 pm
 V Troicki (SRB) vs T Gabashvili (RUS)
[Q] A Veic (CRO) vs  E Gulbis (LAT)
WEDNESDAY BRISBANE SCHEDULE
PAT RAFTER ARENA start 10:30 am
B Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) vs [WC] S Peers (AUS) – WTA
[WC] J Dokic (AUS) vs A Petkovic (GER) – WTA
A Dolgopolov (UKR) vs  A Roddick (USA) – ATP
Not Before 7:00 PM
 M Baghdatis (CYP) vs L Kubot (POL) – ATP
 M Fish (USA) vs R Stepanek (CZE) – ATP
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