Former champions Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic eased into the quarterfinals at Dubai today. Federer breezed in a 6-3, 6-4 win over Marcel Granollers. The 31-year-old is a 5-time champion of the event which also happens to be played where he lives.
“I think I was sharper today,” said Federer. “I had a clearer plan. I knew what I could and couldn’t do. So that automatically carves out sort of the things you might want to attempt. I was a bit more confident overall. I knew what I wanted to do and I was able to do it, so I’m happy.”
Next for Federer tomorrow is a meeting with longtime rival Nikolay Davydenko. The Russian has beaten Federer just twice in 20 career meetings, but Federer isn’t one to underestimate his opponents.
“I’ll never disrespect a guy like Nikolay,” said Federer. “He’s done too much in the game. That’s why I know it’s a dangerous round next match. I know what he can do on his absolute best day because I was one of the guys that got crushed by him as well during that time. I expect him to come out and play that way.”
Top ranked Djokovic also had little trouble today dismissing Roberto Bautista Agut 6-1, 7-6(4). Djokovic, a three-time winner in Dubai, was broken while serving for the match at 5-3 in the second, but otherwise was pleased with the result.
“I think I played really, really well and at a high level throughout most of the match,” said Djokovic. “And then I had another poor game like yesterday towards the end, when I needed to close it out with a few match points. At 5-4 he served well, he fought his way through, and I have to give them credit for that. He’s a great competitor. I never played against him, so I didn’t know really what to expect. But generally I’m feeling quite confident on the court, which is a good thing.”
Perfect on the year, Djokovic has won 15 straight matches and 25 of his last 26, losing just to Sam Querrey in Paris.
Also advancing were Juan Martin Del Potro, Tomas Berdych and Andreas Seppi who now faces Novak.
In Acapulco, it was an easy day for the top two Spaniards. David Ferrer pounded Wayne Odesnik 6-2, 6-1 and later it was Rafael Nadal’s turn to lay a whooping and he did just that hammering Martin Alund 6-0, 6-4. Nicolas Almagro was is still to finish.
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