DUBAI, March 1 (AP): Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer each won in straight sets on Wednesday to advance to the quarterfinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships.
Djokovic beat Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine 7-6 (5), 6-3, while Federer defeated Feliciano Lopez of Spain 7-5, 6-3.
Andy Murray of Britain also reached the final eight with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Marco Chiudinelli of Switzerland, as did Russia�s Mikhail Youzhny, who beat American Mardy Fish 6-2, 7-6 (0). The top-ranked Djokovic, seeking his fourth consecutive title in Dubai, wasn�t at his best for a second straight match after struggling against Cedrik-Marcel Stebe in the opening round. The Serb hadn�t played in a tournament since winning the Australian Open. Stakhovsky was 4-3 up in the first-set tiebreaker, but two costly unforced errors let Djokovic off the hook, and he took the set when the Ukrainian hit a forehand long.
Djokovic was down 3-1 in the second but won five straight games to set up an all-Serbian match against Janko Tipsarevic, who beat Flavio Cipolla of Italy 6-7 (2), 6-1, 6-1. �The difference between the top players and maybe the lower-ranked players is actually those moments,� Djokovic said of his comeback. �And managing to keep your composure and cope with the pressure and just focus, have an extra focus, mental strength.�
Federer broke Lopez in the final game to end a tight opening set. The second set was more routine, with the Swiss breaking the Spaniard for a 5-3 lead before closing the match with a volley from the net.
Federer, who was beaten in the Dubai final last year by Djokovic, is going for his fifth title and second in 2012 after winning in Rotterdam.
�It was tough getting used to his serve early on. I wasn�t having many looks � he was serving aces left and right,� said Federer, who won 92 percent of his points on first serve. In a reprise of the 2007 final, Federer will next face Youzhny, whom he has never lost to in 11 meetings.
Fish�s loss was another setback to what has already been a disappointing start to 2012.
After replacing Andy Roddick as the top-ranked American last year, Fish has struggled. He lost in the second round of the Australian Open and was beaten by 388th-ranked Albano Olivetti in the Marseille quarterfinals last week. He did, however, help the United States rout Switzerland 5-0 in the Davis Cup.
�It�s no disgrace to lose to someone like him, but it�s frustrating to lose,� Fish said. �I had a rough trip, last couple of matches did sting a little bit going into Indian Wells and Miami.�