Federer rolls in Dubai opener


The Sports Network

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (SportsNetwork.com) - Five-time champion Roger Federer was an easy opening-round winner Monday at the $1.928 million Dubai Tennis Championships.

The fourth-seeded former world No. 1 great handled German Benjamin Becker 6-1, 6-4 to improve to 38-5 lifetime on the hardcourts at Dubai Tennis Stadium.

Federer's second-round opponent on Wednesday will be Czech veteran Radek Stepanek or American journeyman Michael Russell.

Meanwhile, seventh-seeded German Philipp Kohlschreiber drubbed Dutch qualifier Thiemo de Bakker 6-3, 6-3 and eighth-seeded Russian Dmitry Tursunov dropped Slovakian qualifier Lukas Lacko 7-5, 6-1.

In matches involving non-seeds, Italian Andreas Seppi overcame German Florian Mayer 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 and Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut leveled Romanian qualifier Adrian Ungur 6-1, 6-3.

This week's top seeds -- former No. 1 and reigning champion Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin del Potro and last year's runner-up Tomas Berdych -- will all take to the courts for first-round matches on Tuesday. Djokovic beat Berdych in last year's final to capture his fourth Dubai title in five years.

Since 2003, Djokovic and Federer have won nine of 11 titles in Dubai.

Venus Williams was last week's champion in the WTA's edition of the Dubai Championships.

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