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Federer moves up

posted on 27/02/2014: 2031 views

Fourth seed Roger Federer rallied to beat spirited Radek Stepanek to reach the quarter-finals of the Dubai Open Tennis Championships at the Dubai Tennis Stadium on Wednesday.

The world number eight and five-time winner took more than two hours to get past 48th ranked Stepanek 6-2, 6-7(4), 6-3 at the centre court.

Earlier, third seed Tomas Berdych sent Sergiy Stakhovsky packing 6-2, 6-1 in straight sets. The top ranked player from Czech Republic took just 57 minutes to knock out the Ukrainian. With the help of three breaks, the world number six pocketed the first set in just 28 minutes.

Giving no room to Stakhovsky for a comeback, the last year's finalist kept the pressure on his rival from the beginning and broke him in the second game of the second set and later raced to a 4-1 lead. He broke the 88th ranked Stakhovsky's serve again in the sixth game and closed the battle after winning the next one.

"It was a solid victory and today I was working a little more on my return stats than on my service stats. I mean, seriously it's the main focus really for the next days to get my percentage of the first serve back and really find a nice and sweet rhythm for my serve,” said the Rotterdam Open winner. "Stakhovsky is a very tough and tricky opponent. Every single point is different, slices, with spin, short balls, deep balls. Really, everything is so varied. It's nothing what I really like. Still, I was able to manage it,” added the Australian Open semi-finalist.

Talking about his next match against Tsonga, Berydch said: "Well he is a very tough opponent. He's a really solid, established player from the top 10. He really likes these very fast conditions. It's something what really suits to his game and he can bring the best, and all the matches that we have played were very close, always a big battle. I'm really looking forward to that.”

Sixth seed Mikhail Youzhny advanced into the last eight with a 6-1 7-6 win over wild card James Ward. Seventh seed Philipp Kohlschreiber also made it to the quarter-final after defeating Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-3.

Lukas Rosol outlasted eighth seed Dmitry Tursunov 6-4, 7-6. – The Gulf Today


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