• Dubai Championships

Federer extends unbeaten run against Youzhny in Dubai

ESPN staff
February 23, 2015
Roger Federer reflects on his opening day win in Dubai

Roger Federer extended his unbeaten run against Mikhail Youzhny to 16 after a straight sets win in the first round of the Dubai Championships.

Defending champion Federer, who has only dropped four sets against the Russian in all their meetings dating back to 2000, looked a bit shaky in the opening games but he took control when he broke serve on a fourth break point in the seventh game when Youzhny hit a backhand long.

The 33-year-old needed just 56 minutes to get past world No.55 Youzhny, a two-time finalist in this event, 6-3 6-1.

Longest unbeaten streaks in Open era

  • Roger Federer's win over Mikhail Youzhny means has joined himself in third place of the Open era head-to-head unbeaten streaks:
  • 18-0: Nadal v Berdych

    17-0: Lendl v Mayotte

    16-0: Federer v Youzhny

    16-0: Federer v Ferrer

    16-0: Lendl v Davis

    16-0: Lendl v Gilbert

    15-0: Ferrer v Almagro

    14-0: Federer v Nieminen

    13-0: Connors v Gottfried

Federer was playing his first match since his third-round exit to Andreas Seppi at the Australian Open last month.

He told the ATP's official website: "I think it was close in that first set. I think we were both trying to find our range. I'm happy I didn't start to play too careful after it, because it is tough to play here in Dubai with the quick conditions.

"After that, I think I started to return much better. Serve got a bit more consistent. My half volleys were getting better. I was able to get the set and the break, and then that's when you can bring it home."

Ireland's No.1 James McGee missed out on a second-round meeting with Andy Murray after he was brushed aside by Portugal's Joao Sousa.

Wildcard McGee, who reached the main draw at a grand slam for the first time at last year's US Open, forced just three break points in a 6-1 6-2 defeat.

New world No.3 Murray faces Gilles Simon on Tuesday for the right to play Sousa in the second round.

Elsewhere, Uzbek Denis Istoman upset fifth-seed Ernests Gulbis 7-5 6-2 and Richard Gasquet saw off the spirited challenge from Seppi, winning through 6-4 6-7(1) 6-4.

James Ward will face Feliciano Lopez in the first round after coming from behind to beat Marius Copil 6-7(3) 6-4 6-4 in the qualifying round.

Novak Djokovic, like Murray, is in singles action on Tuesday, but the world No.1's run in the doubles alongside Laslo Djere ended at the first hurdle as the Serbian pair were beaten 6-2 7-5 by fourth seeds Rohan Bopanna and Daniel Nestor.

Lopez and fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco were also sent crashing out of the doubles by Briton Dominic Inglot and his Romanian partner Florin Mergea.

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