Federer extends unbeaten run in Doha
Wed, 04 Jan 17:13:00 2012
Roger Federer extended his unbeaten record to 19 matches by overcoming Grega Zemlja 6-2 6-3 in the last 16 of the Qatar Open in Doha.
Federer - with indoor tournament wins in Basel, the Paris Masters and the ATP Tour finals in London in the death throes of 2011 - had to contend with tricky conditions in the wind at the Gulf tournament, but was always in control against a Slovenian opponent ranked at a lowly 116th in the world.
"It is important not to get frustrated in the wind, like I maybe did when I was younger," said Federer. "You become used to it."
Federer will face Andreas Seppi on Thursday for a spot in the semi-finals after the Italian player - seeded eighth in Doha - overcame Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-5 6-3 earlier in the day.
The Swiss player left Zemlja bamboozled with the pace and potency of his groundstrokes in breaking for a 3-1 lead in the first set. He never looked back from that point onwards as the gulf in class became apparent despite Zemlja's best efforts to thwart his opponent.
A crunching backhand winner across court helped Federer wrap up the first set in only 31 minutes on his third set point before Zemlja - facing the Swiss player for the first time on the professional circuit - dug his heels in to stay with Federer.
The pair traded games until 4-3 in the second set as Federer - who had thumped Nikolay Davydenko 6-2 6-2 in his opening match on Tuesday - suddenly went up a gear aided by a wonderfully deceptive sliced backhand from deep in the court.
In finally seeing out the match in one hour, Federer won 12 of the last 14 points to suggest he is warming up nicely in a chilly Doha as his preparations for the Australian Open in Melbourne later this month begin to gather momentum.
Federer - Žemlja : Highli