World No. 1 Rafael Nadal (pictured) and former top-ranked Roger Federer both had little trouble advancing to the second round at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha on Tuesday. In-form Scotland native Andy Murray also cruised to victory by defeating Spaniard Albert Montanes, 6-2, 6-4.
After experiencing the most memorable year of his career in 2008, Nadal didn’t waste time letting the ATP World know that he is for real and has lots more to accomplish in his career. Nadal conquered French veteran Fabrice “Magician” Santoro, 6-0, 6-1, in a quick 46 minutes. Nadal, the defending French Open and Wimbledon champion, lost just 15 points throughout the match, four being in a fast opening set. Nadal won 19 of 20 first serve points, while dropping only two points on his second serve. The lefty from Mallorca smashed 28 winners past Santoro en route to victory. Nadal next faces Slovakian qualifier Karol Beck, who defeated Michal Przysiezny, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5.
Currently ranked No. 2 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, Federer started his 2009 season off on the right note by defeating Italian Potitio Starace, 6-2, 6-2, in 48 minutes. The Swiss star, a winner of 13 grand slam singles titles, lost only seven points on serve throughout the match, while breaking serve four times. The 27-year-old, who won the Doha title in 2005 and 2006, next faces Italian Andreas Seppi for a place in the quarterfinals. Federer improves his singles record in Doha to 13-1.
Third-seeded Murray, the defending champion, improved to 10-1 in Doha, by breaking Montanes’ serve on four occasions, while winning 77 percent of first serve points. Having already defeated Nadal and Federer last week to win an exhibition tournament, Murray is clearly a threat entering the Australian Open in two weeks.
Other First Round Results from Tuesday in Doha
Mikhail Youzhny def. No. 6 Igor Andreev, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
Alexander Peya def. No. 7 Dmitry Tursunov, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4
No. 8 Philipp Kohlschreiber def. Marco Chiudinelli, 6-4, 6-3
Arnaud Clement def. Diego Junqueira, 6-1, 6-2
Kristof Vliegen def. Oscar Hernandez, 6-1, 6-7(4), 7-6(5)