Nadal, Federer Cruise in 2011 Openers; Verdasco Vanquished in Brisbane
by Sean Randall | January 4th, 2011, 6:36 pm

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. ADHEREL

“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.


CENTER COURT start 3:30 pm
[WC] S Bubka (UKR) vs [3] J Tsonga (FRA)
[Q] M Chiudinelli (SUI) vs [2] R Federer (SUI)
[1] R Nadal (ESP) vs L Lacko (SVK)
[4] N Davydenko (RUS) vs J Nieminen (FIN)
COURT 1 start 3:30 pm
[6] V Troicki (SRB) vs T Gabashvili (RUS)
[Q] A Veic (CRO) vs [5] E Gulbis (LAT)


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 [2] A Roddick (USA) – ATP
Not Before 7:00 PM
[5] M Baghdatis (CYP) vs L Kubot (POL) – ATP
[4] M Fish (USA) vs R Stepanek (CZE) – ATP

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63 Comments for Nadal, Federer Cruise in 2011 Openers; Verdasco Vanquished in Brisbane

Kimmi Says:

interesting match between kutzy and shuai peng. the chinese girl fighting for her life in this match.

Kimmi Says:

ha ha what a defensive lob from shuai peng to finish the match. fantastic match with lots of drama.

Nina Says:

Nole playing absolutely great tennis. I’m very confident about his AO run.

Kimmi Says:

congrats to all the winners today. missed all day matches. great win for gulbis after a wobbly finish :)

federer another tweener. yay! tomorrow he meets his friend chiudinelli. I think davydenko/ nieminen should be interesting!

Kimmi Says:

margot – heather watson took the first set against suarez navarro. if she wins this match, i think you will be happy.

berankis is back on the court today playing florian mayer, so many breaks of serve in the first set. back on serve again. i wish i could see this match aaagh!

Kimmi Says:

heather is up a set and two breaks. can she finish this..

Kimmi Says:

margot – heather won :)

benrankis making a come back, took the second set!

Kimmi Says:

berankis up a break in the third, needs to hold now!

Kimmi Says:

oh no! too excited for him..mayer breaks back :(

dari Says:

its not easy to get a brisbane live stream these days, is it? roddick/dolgo could be an interesting match.

contador Says:

Kimmi- berankis had to come thru qualifiers… still, i thought he had a good chance over f. mayer.

dari – completely agree! can’t tell if roddick was starting slow or dolgo has thrown in the towel or what…love watching dolgo’s tennis. he’s down a break but i have seen him fight and come back.

brisbane streaming starts tomorrow.

contador Says:

dolgo is done….roddick must be too much for him.

contador Says:

saw the entire gulbis match. gulbis was in control first set but 2nd set his serve went away when serving for match. classic gulbis choke. but he recovered and won it in the tie break.

very true steve. i got to see a little of schoorel v fed. i like schoorel. he’s as tall or taller than delpo, a very good mover for a giant…his serve and forehand is huge… he’s only 21. i like his chances. maybe even better than thiemo or haase.

giraldo just finished off b becker…

match of the day tomorrow for me that i wont see is neimenen and davy…will try to catch a little of gulbis veic…whoever veic is.

dari Says:

maybe its because he tested my all-time favorite player, roger federer in his second ATP match, but i really hope good things for schoorel.
i was surprised by his movement and by his ability to stay in- and win- longer points. not so easy for a big guy. he just couldn’t keep it up in the second set/ fed turned on, but i was also impressed by his calm. good kid, hope he gets big, it could be anice story looking back that he gave fed a run in only his second match!

Huh Says:

Thank God, tennis and me, both are back. :D

Huh Says:

Happy New Year Ya All! :)

dari Says:

Roger looks like he doesn’t wanna be on court. What gives?

Daniel Says:

Federer not having a good day at the office.

Skeezerweezer Says:

@dari & Daniel,

Yeah I saw the end of that his body language was like he was not happy or ill. His post interview said it all he knew his fellow swiss since he was 5 yrs old, childhood friends, grew up together and also added he knew he had a bad back, so it made things uneasy for him. Anyways, that is what I picked up on….can anyone say “Williams” sisters? lol

He got through let’s hope he looks like he is having more fun the next round…

jane Says:

Well hopefully his back is okay. He won anyhow. Hi huh. :)

margot Says:

Hi kimmi! Heather Watson is a very promising young player, USOpen junior champ, I believe. Does not get anywhere near the publicity of the media’s darling, Laura Robson. She’s mixed race, grew up on Guernsey and she and her mother left dad at home and went to live in the states for her tennis. Hoping for gr8 things!

Nims Says:

Not sure if Federer is trying to avoid playing Nadal. He seems to be too lethargy, probably playing at 70% of his level.

Catherine Says:

Well, don’t know what was going on with Federer, but he surely didn’t look like wanting to be on court at all. A very strange performance indeed.

Just for clearance: to all those already starting to pull injury-excuses (please DON’T!), he was referring to Chiudinelli having a bad back in his post match interview, not to himself!

I got the feeling that he might well have been underrating Chiudinelli, for some strange kind of reason.
Anyways, lots of work to do for Feds, as this level of play will not bring him the Doha title – let alone the AO.

Catherine Says:

I’m liking this Lacko guy…

queen Says:

Yea it looks like Rafa is not having a good day either. He is down to some Lacko punk. Playing like crap…

queen Says:

What the hell is he doing?

queen Says:

Jeez 0:6 really Rafa, really? Wake up!!!

van orten Says:

maybe lacko is tired .. he played over 2 hours and a half yesterday ;-)

Catherine Says:

Lacko is no ‘punk’. Please show a bit of respect to the players, queen – even if they do well against your favourite.

Rafa will win this, nevertheless. Looks like Lacko’s level has dropped immediately at the start of the 3rd set – and Rafa raised his.

van orten Says:

i guess i was right : lacko is tired …

Skeezerweezer Says:


Yeah I was referring to Fed’s opponent (re: back), wasn’t clear on that.

Re: Lacko

Punk? Whoa……don’t think so. You think Rafa is playing out there so he can get a Donut? Don’t think so….

dari Says:

what a point!

van orten Says:

the kid had his chances ! now he is goin to get bageled himself !!!!

dari Says:

catherine,thanks for clarifying the back pain bit. I knew it cause i watched the match, but that kind of confusion is not what we need!
Maybe fed is tired, maybe he has a bit of whatever nadal has a fever with. they have been spending an awful lot of time together ;)
jokes aside, i felt like roger was like, ok, i’ve had enough of the warm up tennis,i wanna rest for AO. also saw him blowing his nose, so who knows.
Wish the best health for him and enough energy for a good AO performance!

fedeRER Says:

live streaming :

van orten Says:

nadal the most difficult person to break who ever played the game !!!incredible

van orten Says:

nadal and federer played too many excos lately!!!

dari Says:

strange day i doha, but both make it thru. hope neither are really sick!

Catherine Says:

Neither Raf nor Rog will win this title if they continue playing like they did today.

Raf really looks like he’s having some fever. I’m the LAST to pull excuses for anyone, but he’s sweating like an otter (while it’s actually quite cold over there), and has been seen bending over and coughing a couple of times.
I think Gulbis is already looking forward to his upcoming match against Rafa…

van orten Says:

gulbis vs rafa ??? hahahhaha will we see some classic gulbis tomorrow ??? looking forward to it..he is goin to smash every ball

Catherine Says:

@ dari: you’re welcome!

“catherine,thanks for clarifying the back pain bit. I knew it cause i watched the match, but that kind of confusion is not what we need!”

Exactly. Problem is the excuse-whinage among, let’s call them the ‘less objective fans’, only gets enhanced when confusions like this appear.

I don’t think it was a matter of Fed being tired or ill at all. I rather think it was a classical case of Rog showing his mental fragility (as it cannot be denied – even as the great player he is, he’s never been the most mentally tough out there), which seems to pop up even more strongly whenever he has to play someone that he genuinely likes (Chudinelli, but also Rafa, as we all know by now). He hinted to that in his post match interview as well.

Hopefully for Rog, the players left in his side of the draw are the ones he likes a little bit less… ;-)

Kimberly Says:

what the bleep happened there? Glad Rafa won but jeeeeeez. Both Rafa and Fed are sick? Maybe the have the same thing they have been hanging out together.

By the way, Bethany Matteck Sands tennis outfit at the hopman cup was the worst least flattering I have ever seen. THey showed her match on tennis channel v. schiavone and I can’t imagine what she was thinking. I have already ordered Sharapova’s AO outfit, it is on Nikestore. I think Rafa and Feds outfits don’t look that Fab either so I won’t be purchasing them for kaiser.

Catherine Says:

Well, even being a bit ill, no probs for Rafa and Lopez to win their consequetive doubles match 6-2, 6-0!

Okay, against some desert-nobodies of course, but still…

Skeezerweezer Says:

“Raf really looks like he’s having some fever. I’m the LAST to pull excuses for anyone, but he’s sweating like an otter (while it’s actually quite cold over there)”.

He may be sick, but it’s not cold by a long shot high77°F | low62°F

Actually, Rafa and Fed both don’t look so hot, maybe they have been spending to much “buddy” time together….

Catherine Says:

@ Skeezerweezer: most of the crowd in Doha were wearing sweaters, if not coats, out there. It might not have been truly ‘cold’, but it surely wasn’t as warm that it fully explains Rafa’s heavy sweating – even if he already sweats a lot at ‘normal’ occasions, it looked like he had been standing in heavy rain all during the match today. NOT normal, if you ask me…
So I do believe he was suffering from a bit of a fever today. We’ll of course find out soon enough whether it indeed was anything ‘serious’ or not.

Nope, neither Rog nor Raf looked very convincing today (understatement, here!), but personally I doubt it has anything to do with the two of them having spent a little ‘buddy time’ together lately, LOL!
(as a genuine Fedal fan, I never mind to see any nice ‘buddy time’ between them anyways, hehe. Don’t worry folks, it will be over come the AO, methinks! )

queen Says:

Catherine Says:
Lacko is no ‘punk’. Please show a bit of respect to the players, queen – even if they do well against your favourite.

Catherine Says:
Okay, against some desert-nobodies of course, but still…


You scolded me for calling Lacko a punk (true I shouldn’t have -I do not know the guy)calling somebody a ‘dessert-nobody’ does not show much respect either. Very hipocritical of you.

Catherine Says:

queen, sorry, but Lacko is a decent player. The fellows in the doubles today are indeed ‘nobodies’. Not being hypocritical, just facts.

Sorry about offending you if I have, that wasn’t my intention at all.


Best of luck to Rafa tomorrow! :-)

Kimmi Says:

reading the comments here, sounds like tough day at the office for both rafa and roger. the important thing is the both got the W.

it is going to get tougher from here.

New troicki is going to be dangerous. lets hope rog can turn up tomorrow.

ah go gulbis. he gets another chance to beat the world # 1. he did it in rome beating federer..can he do it again.


Sharapova has not looked good in all her matches so far. I dont think she can go all the way in this tournament. she is lost the first set 6-2. the only thing is, she knows how to fight for her life…lets hope that helps her to get out of this hole!

BT Says:

Bad loss for Stosur in Brisbane. Groth is one to watch though. Winning the first round was enough for Sam to snatch the #5 ranking from Venus and therefore get a #4 seeding for the Australian Open (Venus and Schiavone aren’t playing tour events this week)

Looks like the Top #8 seeds in the womens draw for AO will be:

#1 – Caro
#2 – Vera
#3 – Kim
#4 – Sam
#5 – Venus
#6 – Frannie
#7 – JJ
#8 – Vika

Catherine Says:

@ Kimmi: yeah, Troicki will surely give Rog a TOUGH DEAL tomorrow. Rog will have to step it up, in comparison to the level of playing he’s shown so far… to be honest, I give Troicki the odds of winning that match, if Rog doesn’t do what he needs to do.

As for Gulbis, it will be a matter if he truly WANTS to get that win. If he does – tough job ahead for Rafa. But it’s Gulbis… quite ‘Mr. Inconsistency’, no?

Kimmi Says:

Good thing “Mr inconsistency” likes the big stage. i remember his matches with federer and nadal..he was pumped and played like he belong the mix.

but rafa is rafa. thats why he is NUMERO UN!!

Lets hope federer perfomance today was due to that fact that he had to play his best friend. he said the match was kind of strange. troicki is no best friend. he knows the real competition starts tomorrow. lets hope he will turn it on.

Sharapova out of auckland. congrats to this girl “Greta Arn”. never heard of her. sharapova was trying to come back with vengence, going for broke on every shot. but greta kept fighting. she definetly has the biggest heart.

i read somewhere that if she loses early, she could play sydney, that sydney organiser kept o wild card for her…i think i might have read in in tennis-x trivia.

Kimmi Says:

ah typos. NUMERO UNO ofcourse.

Kimmi Says:

Dr. Ivo is serving his way to the qtr final. master of tie breakers!

C’mon davydenko..beat him!

Daniel Says:

Gulbis always won a set of Nadal in all their matches, so if he wins the first he has a shot. If it goes to three, Nadal.

Catherine Says:

@ kimmi: fully agree with you!

GO RAFA, Go Davydenko!

And… uhm, GO ROGER as well!!!

Kimmi Says:

OK, i have high hopes for heather watson in this match but….

she is down a break. c’mon heather!


Dr. Ivo hasn’t broken or been broken, but I think Davydenko will break the streak of 30 consecutive service games held by Dr. Ivo.

Kimberly Says:

Oh dear! Sharapova not starting then year off right!

Kimmi Says:

shuai peng was too much for heather. she had a good tournament though. 3 quali matches and three main draw matches. good luck to her for the rest of the year!

steve-o Says:

Very impressed with Watson, the way she fought off Peng’s first match point. She moves well, hits the ball well and at good angles too, and she fights like hell on every point. She shows promise.

Kimmi Says:

Ditto steve-o

margot Says:

Did not see Heather match, haven’t worked out time difference yet :( imagine it’s bad for us in UK cos you’ve gotta be an insomniac to be up for the Ashes…..YES England!!! So thanx steve-o and kimmi for keeping me up to date with Heather and making such positive comments :)

Huh Says:

Hi Mrs. Jane. :)

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