ATP Dubai Championships: Federer eases past Granollers
Last Updated: February 27, 2013 7:53pm
Roger Federer: Brilliant serving against Granollers
Roger Federer eased into the quarter-finals of the Dubai Championships with a 6-3 6-4 victory over Marcel Granollers.
The defending champion looked much more at ease than in his first round match against the unheralded Malek Jaziri, being particularly aggressive behind an impregnable serve.
The 17-time Grand Slam winner broke to lead 4-2 in the opening set and another single break in the fifth game of the second set was enough to send the veteran through.
"The last four sets have been pretty good, you know, so I'm happy I bounced back after a rough opening first set here in the first round," Federer said.
"I think I was sharper today. I had a more, clear plan. I knew what I could and couldn't do."
Federer will face Nicolay Davydenko in the last eight after the Russian edged past Victor Hanescu 6-4 7-6.
Top seed Novak Djokovic overcame a battling Roberto Bautista-Agut 6-1 7-6 to book a clash with seventh seed Andreas Seppi.
Djokovic broke twice in the first set but after taking a 3-0 lead in the next the Spaniard hit back to break when the Serbian served for the match.
Bautista-Agut then held after a 16-minute game to level and it went to a tie-break, where Djokovic raced into a 5-2 before winning in 90 minutes.
Routine win for Del Potro
Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro overcame India's Somdev Devvarman 6-4 6-4 to remain on track to meet top seed Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals.
After saving three breaks points in his opening two service games, the South American was largely untroubled as he advanced in straight sets.
"It's good, but I need to improve if I want to have a chance of winning this tournament," Del Potro said in a courtside interview afterwards.
The former US Open champion was forced to save match points before overcoming Marcos Baghdatis in the first round, but there were no such dramas this time around with a single break in each set enough for him to oust Devvarman.
German qualifier Daniel Brands produced an upset with a 6-4 6-4 win over eighth seed Mikhail Youzhny, setting up a clash with Del Potro.
Third seed Tomas Berdych, 27, defeated Germany's Tobias Kamke 7-5 6-1, although the Czech did not have things all his own way against the world number 90, being broken twice in the first set and having to save a further 12 break points in total.
"I was struggling a bit with the conditions," Berdych told reporters. "Maybe the court is not extremely fast, but once it's really hot in the sun it really makes the balls fly much more than I'm used to."