Nadal, Federer open with wins

Roger Federer reacts after winning against Nikolay Davydenko during the Qatar Open in Doha on...

Roger Federer reacts after winning against Nikolay Davydenko during the Qatar Open in Doha on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012. (REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad)

SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 5:08 PM ET

DOHA, QATAR - Two of tennis' all-time greats -- Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer -- were a pair of opening-round winners Tuesday at the season-opening $1.024 million Qatar Open.

The top-seeded former world No. 1 Nadal was tested in a 6-3, 6-7 (2-7), 6-3 victory over capable German Philipp Kohlschreiber, while the second-seeded former No. 1 Federer won his 18th straight match with a 6-2, 6-2 pasting of former top-five star Nikolay Davydenko in a rematch of last year's final here, which was also won by Federer on the hardcourts at Khalifa Tennis Complex. Davydenko won this Australian Open tune-up two years ago.

Nadal got past Kohlschreiber in just over 2 1/2 hours, while Federer tuned up Davydenko in a mere 54 minutes.

The 16-time Grand Slam champion and three-time Doha titlist Federer closed out 2011 as the hottest player in the world, as he won his last 17 matches on his way to three straight titles, including the prestigious ATP World Tour Finals.

Third-seeded French slugger Jo-Wilfried Tsonga advanced with a hard-fought 7-6 7-5), 6-7 (5-7), 6-1 victory over little-known Tunisian wild card Malek Jaziri in 2 hours, 19 minutes, while another French star, fourth-seeded Gael Monfils, handled Portuguese Rui Machado 7-5, 6-3 in Tuesday's singles nightcap. Tsonga swatted 12 aces on his way to victory.

Meanwhile, seventh-seeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny moved on with a 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 6-2 victory over Latvian Ernests Gulbis.

Additional Day-2 wins came for the aforementioned Zemlja, Germans Gremelmayr and Matthias Bachinger, Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, and 6-foot-10 Croat Ivo Karlovic. Zemlja overcame big-serving Ukrainian Sergei Bubka 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 on Tuesday. Bubka is the son of legendary pole-vaulter Sergey Bubka.

Clijsters, Petkovic reach quarters

BRISBANE, Australia - Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters and second-seeded German Andrea Petkovic were among Tuesday's second-round winners at the 2012 season-opening Brisbane International tennis event.

The fifth-seeded Belgian star Clijsters outlasted fellow former world No. 1 Ana Ivanovic of Serbia 6-1, 1-6, 6-3. The four-time Grand Slam titlist Clijsters captured this Brisbane event two years ago.

The injury-plagued Clijsters is playing this week for the first time since August of last year.

Petkovic, who was last year's Brisbane runner-up to Czech slugger Petra Kvitova, battled through the first set before dominating the second to take a 7-6 (7-2), 6-0 victory over Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova.

Meanwhile, French Open runner-up Francesca Schiavone of Italy, seeded third this week, served up six aces and saved 8-of-9 break opportunities by Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan on the way to a 6-4, 6-4 decision.

Also advancing on Day 3 was Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova, who rallied from a set down to beat American qualifier Vania King 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Murray survives, advances in Brisbane

BRISBANE, Australia - Top seed Andy Murray and fifth seed Kei Nishikori of Japan were among Tuesday's first-round winners at the 2012 season-opening Brisbane International tennis event.

Last year's Australian Open runner-up Murray rallied from a set down to beat Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin 5-7, 6-3, 6-2. The two-time Australian Open runner-up from Scotland will next meet Luxembourg's Gilles Muller on Wednesday.

A relieved Murray was happy to get past the game Kukushkin.

"He was hitting winners from all over the place. I was a little bit slow, I didn't expect him to come out swinging like that in the first match of the year," Murray said. "You have to be mentally ready from the start, and I wasn't quite there today."

Nishikori also bounced back from a first-set loss to down German Cedrik- Marcel Stebe 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 on the hardcourts at Queensland Tennis Centre. Nishikori was joined in the second round by sixth-seeded Czech veteran Radek Stepanek, who outlasted Aussie Matthew Ebden 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. Stepanek titled here in 2009.

A Day-3 upset saw Philipp Petzschner of Germany take down Austria's Jurgen Melzer, the No. 7 seed, 6-1, 7-5.

In other first-round play, Tatsuma Ito of Japan topped Aussie wild card Benjamin Mitchell 6-4, 6-2; Jarkko Nieminen of Finland advanced past American Jesse Levine 7-6 (7-4), 6-2; Santiago Giraldo of Colombia defeated Aussie John Millman 6-3, 6-3; Germany's Tommy Haas bested Aussie wild card Marinko Matosevic 6-3, 7-5; and Russian Igor Andreev bested Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (8-6), 6-2.

Peng, Kuznetsova move on

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Second-seeded Chinese Peng Shuai and former top-five star Svetlana Kuznetsova of Russia advanced, while defending champion Greta Arn of Hungary exited the season-opening ASB Classic tennis event on Tuesday.

Peng outlasted French qualifier Aravane Rezai 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, while a third- seeded Kuznetsova defeated American qualifier Alison Riske 6-3, 6-2.

The two-time Grand Slam champion Kuznetsova will face another American, Christina McHale, here on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Arn was driven out by fifth-seeded German Julia Goerges 7-5, 3-6, 6-4. Arn captured last year's ASB Classic with a victory in the final over Belgian Yanina Wickmayer, who is seeded seventh this year and downed Czech qualifier Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 6-4 on Tuesday. Wickmayer titled here two years ago and is seeking a third straight trip into the ASB final.

In other action involving seeds on the hardcourts at ASB Tennis Centre, No. 6 Italian Roberta Vinci topped Canadian Rebecca Marino 7-5, 6-4 and No. 8 Monica Niculescu of Romania breezed past American qualifier Jamie Hampton 7-6 (7-1), 6-1.

Other opening-round winners were China's Zheng Jie, Russian Elena Vesnina and German Angelique Kerber. Vesnina was a finalist here three years ago.

Malisse, Rochus ousted in India

CHENNAI, India - Seeded Belgians Xavier Malisse and Olivier Rochus were a pair of first-round upset victims Tuesday at the 2012 season- opening Chennai Open tennis event.

Belgian wild card David Goffin upended his seventh-seeded compatriot Malisse 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, while Japanese qualifier Yuichi Sugita subdued the eighth- seeded Rochus 6-3, 6-4 on the hardcourts at SDAT Tennis Stadium. Malisse was last year's Chennai runner-up to Swiss slugger Stanislas Wawrinka and titled here in 2007.

Meanwhile, Romanian Victor Hanescu humbled former top-20 American Sam Querrey 6-3, 6-4 on Day 2.

Other opening-round winners were Belgian Steve Darcis, Japanese qualifier Go Soeda, Taipei's Yen-Hsun Lu, German Andreas Beck and French qualifier Edouard Roger-Vasselin. Darcis will meet second-seeded Spaniard Nicolas Almagro's in the round of 16, while Roger-Vasselin will take on the third-seeded and defending champion Wawrinka.


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