Nadal, Federer win season-openers in Doha

Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerland look at one of the trophies after their...

Rafael Nadal of Spain and Roger Federer of Switzerland look at one of the trophies after their final match during the Mubadala World Tennis Championship at the International Tennis Complex in Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi January 1, 2011. (REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah)

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, Last Updated: 3:46 PM ET

DOHA, Qatar -- Last year's runner-up Rafael Nadal and two- time champion Roger Federer highlighted Tuesday's first-round winners at the season-opening Qatar Open, a hardcourt Australian Open tune-up.

The world No. 1 Nadal blasted Slovak Karol Beck 6-3, 6-0, while a second- seeded former No. 1 Federer was tested in the first set before dismissing Dutch qualifier Thomas Schoorel 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 at Khalifa Tennis Complex.

The Spanish Nadal was last year's Doha runner-up to Russian Nikolay Davydenko. The Swiss Federer titled here back-to-back in 2005 and 2006.

The reigning U.S. Open, Wimbledon and French Open champion Nadal advanced in 69 minutes, while the 2010 Aussie Open titlist Federer slammed 13 aces in a 78-minute victory over the 21-year-old Schoorel, who was playing in only his second career ATP-level match.

The 2010 ATP season came to a close in November when the 16-time Grand Slam champion Federer beat his great rival Nadal, a nine-time major titlist, in the final at the World Tour Finals in London.

Nadal beat Federer in an exhibition tournament final in Abu Dhabi last week.

Up next for Nadal here will be another Slovak, Lukas Lacko, while Federer will take on fellow Swiss Marco Chiudinelli on Wednesday.

Federer struck yet another one of his trademark between-the-legs shots against the young Schoorel on Tuesday.

Leading handily at 5-2 in the second set, Federer faced a ball that changed direction after clipping the top of the net. The sublime Swiss promptly flicked the ball through his legs for a winner into the corner of the court.

"It's one of the best shots again of my career, one I'm going to look back on and smile, of course," Federer said. "It was quite fantastic."

Federer also pulled off the shot known as the "tweener" at the last two U.S. Opens, last year's Shanghai Masters and the Dubai Open four years ago.

In other opening-round action involving seeds, No. 5 Latvian Ernests Gulbis edged out Romanian Victor Hanescu 6-3, 7-6 (8-6), No. 6 Serb Viktor Troicki bested Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-4, 7-5, and No. 8 German Philipp Kohlschreiber shut down Italian Andreas Seppi 6-2, 6-4. Troicki won the fifth and deciding rubber in the 2010 Davis Cup final between Serbia and France last month, which marked the first-ever Davis Cup title for the Serbs.

Other first-round winners Tuesday were the qualifier Chiudinelli, Lacko, Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili, Finn Jarkko Nieminen and Croats Ivo Karlovic and qualifier Antonio Veic. Gabashvili grounded 1999 Doha champion and former Aussie Open runner-up Rainer Schuettler of Germany in straight sets. Nieminen will battle the reigning Doha champion Davydenko in the round of 16.

The winner of this $1.11 million event will pocket $177,000.


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