Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic both had no trouble advancing to the Doha quarterfinals, losing just nine games combined. Nadal lost just five in a 6-2, 6-3 romp against Robin Haase.
“I played at a very high level against a good opponent today,” Nadal said. “My serve was a little bit worse than yesterday, but in general I am happy with the victory and my level of tennis. I hit my returns with a lot of confidence.”
Nadal won the Doha title two years ago, his last crown on hardcourts.
Djokovic crushed Fernando Verdasco 6-2, 6-2 as the Serb seeks his first Doha title.
“I’m very pleased with the way I have started this season, with two matches in straight sets,” Djokovic said. “Tonight was tougher than the first round. Obviously I expected that. Verdasco is a former Top-10 player, somebody that has a lot of weapons in his game and who can create a lot of power from the forehand side. I wanted to take away the time from him. So I tried to mix it up. I served well in important moments.”
Tomas Berdych and Jeremy Chardy were also winners.
On Thursday, Nadal faces Andrei Kuznetsov while Djokovic meets Leonardo Mayer. Berdych battles young Brit Kyle Edmund.
“[Mayer] is a very intelligent tennis player,” Djokovic said. “He knows how to anticipate well on the court and serves very well, even though he has a very high toss, but he doesn’t make too many double faults. His second serve is particularly good.”
In Chennai, 2-time defending champion Stan Wawrinka opened his 2016 season beating Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-2. Young Borna Coric was also a winner Wednesday.
THURSDAY DOHA SCHEDULE
 J. Chardy (FRA) vs I. Marchenko (UKR)
A. Kuznetsov (RUS) vs  R. Nadal (ESP)
 N. Djokovic (SRB) vs  L. Mayer (ARG)
 T. Berdych (CZE) vs [Q] K. Edmund (GBR)
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