Fri, Jan 09, 2009 - Page 19 News List

Nadal, Federer, Murray reach quarters

AGENCIES , DOHA

Top-ranked Rafael Nadal and No. 2 Roger Federer won in straight sets to advanced to the quarter-finals of the Qatar Open on Wednesday.

Nadal beat Karol Beck of Slovakia 6-1, 6-2, and Federer defeated Andreas Seppi of Italy 6-3, 6-3.

“Although I lost my concentration for a while in the second set, I really played well today,” said Nadal, who had a similarly easy win over Fabrice Santoro on Tuesday.

“I am happy because it was an important win,” Nadal said, who was broken once but took advantage of 27 unforced errors from Beck.

“Yesterday, I played good and today also I played good,” he said. “I can’t say if I am close to my best.”

“You can never tell whether you are at your best. You can never tell about your level,” Nadal said.

The top-ranked Spaniard was due to play fifth-seeded Gael Monfils of France yesterday.

Monfils, runner-up to Federer in Doha in 2006, fired nine aces as he got the better of compatriot Nicolas Devilder 7-5 7-6, taking the tie-break 7-4.

Federer was also broken once, but the 13-time Grand Slam champion from Switzerland still managed to beat Seppi, who committed 31 unforced errors — two more than Federer.

“It was a little difficult out there because he is a tough, steady player,” Federer said. “There were no free points, but I am happy to have a good outing.”

Andy Roddick edged Arnaud Clement of France 6-3, 7-5 while Andy Murray, who lost to Federer in last year’s US Open final, defeated Philipp Petzschner of Germany 6-2, 6-4. The fourth-ranked Briton broke Petzschner twice in the first set and once in the second.

“I started really well, created chances on his serve,” Murray said. “He was unpredictable at the start, but I managed to get ahead and keep my momentum and that always helps.”

Unlike Nadal and Federer, Murray was not broken in the match.

“My first serve percentage was good,” Murray said. “I know he uses a lot of backhand slice shots, so I was able to keep my shots hard and flat. I think it was a good match for this stage of the tournament.”

Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber edged out Belgium’s Kristof Vliegen 6-4 6-7 6-4.

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