Sun, Mar 07, 2004 - Page 23 News List

Federer advances in quarterfinals of Dubai Open in UAE

AP , DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Top-seeded Roger Federer cruised past Andrei Pavel of Romania 6-3, 6-3 and improved his season record to 14-1 in the quarterfinals of the Dubai Open on Friday.

Federer broke Pavel to love in the sixth game, and needed three set points to win the first set.

The world No. 1 then broke in the fifth game of the second, and again in the ninth to win the match on a forehand winner.

He improved to 4-0 against Pavel, and 9-1 in Dubai, where he'll face Jarkko Nieminen of Finland, who defeated eighth-seeded Sjeng Schalken 6-3, 6-3.

"I'm not playing at my best ... but the most important thing is that I'm playing better than in the first few rounds," said Federer, the last surviving seed.

"I'm still missing a few shots and my serve is not where I want it to be," he added.

Earlier, Mikhail Youzhny of Russia reached his first tour semifinal this year with a 6-2, 1-6, 6-1 defeat of Rafael Nadal.

The Russian, ranked 40th, appeared to be spent after dropping the second set in high temperatures and humidity.

Youzhny, who went out in the first round in his two previous Dubai appearances, will now face another Spaniard in Feliciano Lopez, who overcame Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia 6-4, 7-6 (4).

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