Federer and Nadal ease through in Doha

Tue, 04 Jan 17:31:00 2011

Roger Federer booked his place in the second round of the Qatar Open with a topsy-turvy 7-6(3) 6-3 victory over Dutch qualifier Thomas Schoorel.

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World number one Rafael Nadal followed Federer through with a straightforward 6-3 6-0 victory over Slovakian Karol Beck in the top half of the draw.

Schoorel took the fight to Federer in the opening set - earning four break points against the world number two's serve with some spectacular returns from Federer's uncharacteristically limp second-serves.

However, the 21-year-old Dutchman failed to convert any as Federer's improved first-serve continually kicked in at the vital moment - and Schoorel's surprisingly consistent, powerful forehands deserted him when he needed them the most.

Six-foot seven-inch Schoorel continued to look imperious on serve but he struggled to maintain his consistency as the first set entered a tie-break, surrendering the set with a number of wayward backhands.

ATP Doha - 1st round

The first set loss was harsh on the world number 168 and, to rub salt in the wound, Federer went on to break Schoorel's serve with his first break point in the match - going 3-1 up in the second set.

Schoorel rarely looked like coming back into the match after the break, and there was just time for a trademark between-the-legs winner from Federer as the Swiss served out for a 7-6 6-3 victory.

Nadal needed just 69 minutes to get the better of world number 103 Beck.

He broke immediately to race into a 3-0 lead, hitting some trademark forehands and moving deftly around the court.

Beck hinted he might be able to compete with his more illustrious opponent, cancelling out the break with a couple of imperious points of his own and keeping Nadal predominantly to his backhand.

But having done the hard work to get back on serve, he surrendered another break immediately and Nadal edged 5-3 in front.

There was some concern for Nadal's fitness as the Spaniard appeared to be in some discomfort after chasing down a Beck drop-shot in the penultimate game of the first set.

After a clinical hold to love, Nadal emerged determined to shake off whatever was troubling him in the second set, breaking early and playing decisively.

Beck had few answers as the task grew ever more difficult, and by the end of the set Nadal looked in excellent rhythm, sealing the second set 6-0 as Beck steered an attempted forehand pass down the line inches wide of the line.

Nadal will again face Slovakian opposition in the next round in the form of Lukas Lacko.

Other winners in Doha were fifth seed Ernests Gulbis of Latvia, who beat Romania's Victor Hanescu and eighth seed Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany, who was too strong for Italy's Andreas Seppi.


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