Federer Eases Into Next Round as Somdev Prepares for Del Potro Showdown in Dubai Open 2014

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By Shruthi SU | February 25, 2014 3:25 PM EST

Federer returns during his victory over Becker, 24 February. Reuters.
Federer returns during his victory over Becker, 24 February. Reuters.

Roger Federer eased through the first round of Dubai Open on Monday beating Benjamin Becker 6-1, 6-4. He has won the Dubai Open in 2003-05, 2007 and 2012, it'll be his 6th title if he shows the same form that he did against his German opponent.

"I'm extremely happy with today's match," said Federer. "Coming out and playing free tennis like that right off the bat is a good feeling.

"I know probably Benjamin has been doing a lot of travelling back and forth, Australia, Europe, America, back to Dubai, back for Indian Wells and Miami, but you've got to take advantage of that. I have been here for some time. I had a good preparation. I'm happy it paid off thus far."

Federer clinched the first set in only 22 minutes as Becker, ranked world no. 90, was trying to cause an upset.

"Things can run away very quickly here," Federer added. "If you look at the winner list from here, it's guys who play well on grass courts. It's worth it to go for your shots and you feel like risky tennis will be rewarded."

The 32-year-old managed a perfect in-between-the-legs shot that left the crowd spellbound. Federer was teased close to the net and had to run back to chase down a lob by Becker. The Swiss master pulled a classy tweener to the other end of the court, Becker played it with soft hands which helped Federer finish off the point.

In other news from Dubai, Eighth seed Dmitry Tursunov  defeated Lukas Lacko 7-5, 6-1.

"It's hard to complain when you win, but I think there is quite a few things that I could have done better," said Tursunov, who took 70 minutes to finish off the match. "But, given the circumstances, I would rather play bad and win than play great and lose. It gives me another chance to play better than today. I'm going to be Mr. Positive today." 

Andreas Seppi defeated Florian Mayer 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 in just under two hours after being one set down initially. The other player going to the next round is Roberto Bautista Agut who overcame Adrian Ungur 6-1, 6-3 in 66 minutes.

India's Somdev Devvarman will face Argentina's Del Potro on Tuesday at 1.30 pm IST. Somdev won the ATP Challenger Delhi Open on Sunday. It's not only Del Potro's game that he'll find challenging but he'll also need to get used to the conditions in Dubai. Del Potro beat Somdev in the only match they have played in the same tournament last year.

"I know his game," said Del Potro on Sunday who is tending a wrist injury. "He's a good player, but then so are most of the players at this level of the game. I know he played a Challenger final today. It is going to be a challenge for me. It all depends on how my wrist feels. This is a big opportunity for me to raise my level and play better than what I did at Rotterdam [last week]."

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Federer returns during his victory over Becker, 24 February. Reuters.
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