Djokovic, Federer reach Dubai quarters
Dubai, United Arab Emirates (SportsNetwork.com) - Reigning champion and four-time overall titlist Novak Djokovic and five-time winner Roger Federer were a pair of second-round victors Wednesday at the $1.928 million Dubai Tennis Championships.
The top-seeded former world No. 1 Djokovic drubbed improving Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut 6-1, 6-3, while the fourth-seeded former top-ranked great Federer snuck past Czech veteran Radek Stepanek 6-2, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3 in 2 hours, 8 minutes on the hardcourts at Dubai Tennis Stadium. Federer overcame a love-2 deficit in the third set by winning five straight games to assume control.
The 32-year-old Federer popped eight aces and broke the 35-year-old Stepanek on twice as many occasions (8-4) on Day 3.
Up next for Djokovic, who beat Czech Tomas Berdych in last year's Dubai finale, will be sixth-seeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny, while Federer's quarterfinal opponent on Thursday will be Czech slugger Lukas Rosol.
Since 2003, Djokovic and Federer have won nine of 11 titles in Dubai.
Meanwhile, a third-seeded Berdych scalded Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-2, 6-1 and fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga advanced via walkover against fading former world No. 3 Nikolay Davydenko, who pulled out of the draw due to a rib injury. The former Wimbledon runner-up Berdych and former Australian Open finalist and last week's Marseille runner-up Tsonga will do battle on Thursday.
In other action involving seeds, the two-time Dubai runner-up Youzhny topped British wild card James Ward 6-1, 7-6 (7-3), No. 7 Philipp Kohlschreiber leveled Italian Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-3, and Rosol upset No. 8 Dmitry Tursunov 6-4, 7-6 (7-4).
Another result saw Tunisia's Malek Jaziri reach his second career ATP quarterfinal by besting Indian Somdev Devvarman 6-3, 7-5.
One other quarterfinal will pit Kohlschreiber against the wild card Jaziri.
02/26 14:22:15 ET