• Federer eases past Zemlja at Qatar ExxonMobil Open

    1/4/12 9:38 PM | Ricky Dimon
    Federer eases past Zemlja at Qatar ExxonMobil Open Roger Federer erases Grega Zemlja in straight sets on Wednesday in Doha. Gael Monfils advances in much different fashion, outlasting Benjamin Becker in three.

    (2) Roger Federer d. (Q) Grega Zemlja 6-2, 6-3

    Federer dropped only 11 points in nine service games and took out Zemlja in just one hour during second-round action at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open on Wednesday night. The defending champion saved the only two break points he faced, served at 65 percent, and struck two aces without double-faulting en route to a quarterfinal clash against Andreas Seppi.

    Federer took quick control with a break in the fourth game of the match and he consolidated it by fighting off two break chances in the seventh game. A three-deuce game at 5-2 went Federer's way as he finished off the set with his second break. Zemlja held his first three service games of set two, but a donation of serve at 3-4 all but ended the Slovenian qualifier's run in Doha.

    (4) Gael Monfils vs. Benjamin Becker 7-5, 4-6, 7-5

    It was a typical Monfils encounter, with the Frenchman throwing his body all across the court and needing two hours and 27 minutes over three sets to subdue Becker. A tight opening frame of play saw Monfils squander an amazing eight set points before finally converting his ninth chance at 6-5. Becker continued to fight in the second, even after giving away an early break. The 304th-ranked German got the upper hand once more and this time made no mistake with the set on his racket at 5-4.

    That set the stage for a tense decider, which saw Becker save four break points en route to a 5-5 deadlock. One of those was a match point for Monfils at 5-4, but the German thwarted it with an aggressive forehand winner. Becker led 30-0 at 5-6, but he lost three straight points and had to save one more match point. The underdog could not fight off a third, as Monfils clinched victory by forcing Becker into an error after a huge down-the-line backhand.

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
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