• Dubai Tennis Championship

Federer breezes past Becker in Dubai

ESPN staff
February 24, 2014
Roger Federer rarely had to leave first gear against Benjamin Becker © Getty Images

Roger Federer kicked off his bid for a sixth Dubai Tennis Championship title with a routine 6-1 6-4 victory over Germany's Benjamin Becker.

Federer was on clinical form throughout as he ensured Becker remains winless in four matches against the Swiss, breezing through to the last 16 in just over an hour.

The match highlight was undoubtedly an audacious shot through the legs from Federer at 3-2 in the second as he set up a clash with either Radek Stepanek or Michael Russell.

"I'm extremely happy with today's match," Federer told atpworldtour.com. "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."

Eighth seed Dimitry Tursunov saw off Slovakia's Lukas Lacko 7-5 6-1, while Roberto Bautista Agut navigated past Adrian Ungur 6-1 6-3, setting up a potential clash with top seed Novak Djokovic.

Italy's Andreas Seppi required three sets to advance, overcoming Florian Mayer 4-6 6-1 7-5. Seppi will now face Philipp Kohlschreiber after the German defeated qualifier Thiemo de Bakker 6-3 6-3 in little over an hour.

Some of the tournament's biggest names opened up the competition with doubles action. World number two Djokovic will have to focus on the singles after he and 23-year-old partner Carlos Gomez-Herrera went down 5-7 6-1 10-5 to unseeded pair Tomasz Bednarek and Lukas Dlouhy.

Juan Martin Del Potro and partner Stepanek made short work of Ivan Dodig and Mikhail Youzhny, winning 6-3 7-5.

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