Roger Federer neared his sixth Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships title as he advanced to the quarterfinals of the event with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Marcel Granollers. Federer is chasing his first ATP World Tour title since August, when he won his 76th tour-level crown at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Federer has a 36-4 record at this ATP World Tour 500 hard court tournament, having lifted the trophy in 2003-2005, 2007 and last year, beating Andy Murray in the final.
“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.”
Federer will will next face Nikolay Davydenko, as Davydenko was a victor over Victor Hanescu 6-4, 7-6(2) in one hour and 48 minutes.
Also advancing was world number one-ranked Novak Djokovic who defetaed Roberto Bautista Agut 6-1, 7-6(4). Djokovic was broken when serving for the match at 5-3 in the second set and squandered four match points in the 10th game. The 55th-ranked Bautista Agut then fought back from a 2-5 deficit in the tie-break before Djokovic clinched the win in 90 minutes.
"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."