Federer, Djokovic win Dubai openers

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 4:25 PM ET

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Four-time champion Roger Federer and two-time reigning titlist Novak Djokovic highlighted Tuesday's first-round winners at the $2.233 million Dubai Tennis Championships.

The top-seeded former world No. 1 Federer blew past Indian wild card Somdev Devvarman 6-3, 6-3 in his first match since losing to Djokovic in the Australian Open semifinals last month, while the second-seeded Djokovic handled French lefthander Michael Llodra by an identical 6-3, 6-3 score on Day 2 at Dubai Tennis Stadium. The Swiss icon Federer moved on in 75 minutes, while the Serbian star Djokovic needed only 63 minutes to advance.

"First rounds, honestly, I always expect tough matches," Federer said after dismissing Devvarman. "Not that I expect easier ones in the quarters, because usually the opponents are stronger. But, look, I've never played him before, so the last thing I was going to do was underestimate him."

"I have to say I'm happy with the performance today," Djokovic said following his victory over Llodra.

Djokovic defeated Russian star Mikhail Youzhny, a two-time finalist here, in last year's Dubai finale. Federer captured this event from 2003-05 and again in 2007.

The high-flying Djokovic captured his second Aussie Open title last month and was last year's U.S. Open runner-up to Rafael Nadal.

Djokovic will meet Spaniard Feliciano Lopez here on Wednesday, while the 16- time major champion Federer will encounter Spain's Marcel Granollers.

A fourth-seeded Youzhny will not make a return trip to the final here, as the Russian succumbed to former top-10 Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-3, 7-5.

Additional first-round upsets came, as German Philipp Kohlschreiber cut down sixth-seeded Serb Viktor Troicki 6-1, 7-6 (7-2) and Kazakhstan's Andrey Golubev was leading seventh-seeded Marcos Baghdatis 4-0 when the Cypriot retired due to an illness.

Former top-five star Nikolay Davydenko advanced with a 6-2, 6-0 pasting of Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez. The gritty Russian Davydenko will face third- seeded Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic on Wednesday.

Other opening-round winners were the aforementioned Lopez and Granollers and Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky.

The 2011 Dubai titlist will earn $386,000.


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