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Federer defeats Llodra in Dubai

Associated Press
Feb 29, 2012 at 12:25am IST

Dubai: Roger Federer defeated Michael Llodra 6-0, 7-6 (6) to reach the second round of the Dubai Championships on Tuesday.

The second-seeded Federer needed only 17 minutes to win the first set, dictating play on his serve and using a solid net game to break the Frenchman three times. The second set was a much tighter affair, as both players held their serve throughout.

Llodra, coming off a final loss to Juan Martin del Potro in Marseille, went up 6-5 in the tiebreaker when Federer hit a return long. But Federer saved the set point and then ran off the final two points to win the match in just over an hour.

Federer defeats Llodra in Dubai

Federer defeated Llodra 6-0, 7-6 (6) to reach the second round of the Dubai Championships.

Federer is looking for his fifth title in Dubai. He'll face Feliciano Lopez, who beat Nicolas Mahut of France 6-4, 6-4.

Earlier, Andy Murray overcame an error-strewn performance to defeat German qualifier Michael Berrer 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 in the first round.

Fourth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga edged Marcos Baghdatis 7-6 (2), 6-4 to set up a second-round encounter with Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic.

Murray, playing his first match since losing to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open semifinals, looked ragged and at times his movement appeared labored in the midday heat. He said he didn't "feel great" at the start of the match and at times felt nauseous on court.

"It was quite a frustrating match because I was up a break in the second set, and each time I think gave it straight back," Murray said. "And then the third set again, I went up a break and gave the break straight back. So I could have made it a little bit easier for myself if I played a bit better."

The third-seeded Murray lost his opening service game, but broke back twice to claim the first set. He was saved by his serve, which produced three aces and kept the 116th-ranked German off balance.

Berrer dominated the second set, displaying an improved service game and more aggressive play that forced Murray into a slew of unforced errors. Murray went up 3-2 only to see Berrer break back when he hit a volley into the net. Berrer broke Murray to force the third set when the 24-year-old Briton made four unforced errors. After hitting a backhand into the net, Murray punched his leg and muttered to himself.

The first four games of the third set went against serve. Berrer went up 4-3 only to see Murray regain the momentum and win the final three games.

Murray will faces Swiss qualifier Marco Chiudinelli, who beat Nikolay Davydenko 6-4, 5-7, 6-4. It will be the first time Murray has faced Chiudinelli. He added he needs to make his game more "match tight" if he wants to go deep in the tournament.

"He's quite a flat striker of the ball. He's pretty quick. He's obviously going to have a lot of experience as well on his side," Murray said. "He had a very good win today and a couple of good wins in qualies, so he's playing well."

Baghdatis served for the first set at 5-4 against Tsonga, who said he was tired coming into his match after reaching the semifinals Saturday in Marseille. But Tsonga broke back and then easily won the tiebreaker.

In the second set, the fifth-ranked Tsonga stepped up his game. He broke Baghdatis to go up 3-2 and never trailed after that.

"It was a tough challenge," said Tsonga, who won the title in Qatar last month. "Not a lot of energy. Without this energy, it's difficult to play. But I was there mentally and I did it, so I'm really happy."

In other first round matches, fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych also made quick work of Benjamin Becker 6-2, 6-2 in just over an hour. Mikhail Youzhny defeated Richard Gasquet when the Frenchman retired with the flu after losing the first set 6-3.

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