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Wednesday, January 6, 2010
Federer, Nadal in Qatar quarterfinals

Associated Press

DOHA, Qatar -- Top-ranked Roger Federer and No. 2 Rafael Nadal each won in straight sets Wednesday to reach the quarterfinals at the Qatar Open.

Federer beat Evgeny Korolev of Russia 6-2, 6-4, and Nadal defeated Potito Starace of Italy 6-2, 6-2.

Federer broke three times in the first set and once in the second. The Swiss star, who won the Qatar Open in 2005 and '06, will play either Andreas Seppi of Italy or Ernests Gulbis of Latvia on Thursday.

"I know how he plays, so I had the match under control," Federer said. "He plays a lot of balls on the forehand, so I was able to stay ahead in the match. There were long rallies in the second set, but I am pleased to have reached the quarterfinals."

Federer earned his 17th win in Doha, having lost only two matches in five appearances at the tournament.

Nadal improved to 6-0 against Starace, who has a 2-16 record against top-10 opponents.

"I am happy with my form," Nadal said. "This was confirmation that I am playing well. Right now, I am just concentrating on winning each game I play."

The Spaniard broke Starace twice in each set, returning well from the baseline and taking advantage of Starace twice hitting groundstrokes into the net.

Nadal will play Steve Darcis of Belgium, who beat Younes El Aynaoui of Morocco 6-3, 6-1.

Third-seeded Nikolay Davydenko topped Marco Chiudinelli of Switzerland 6-3, 6-4, while Victor Troicki of Serbia defeated Olivier Rochus of Belgium 6-2, 6-2.

"I am surprised to have won the match in two sets," Davydenko said. "I practiced for only two weeks and then I fell sick. I was on medicine before coming here, so I am still struggling with my shots."