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Federer defeats Llodra in quest for fifth Dubai title; Murray labors to victory

Roger Federer stayed on course for a fifth Dubai title with a first round victory over Michael Llodra

Story highlights

  • World No. 3 Roger Federer moves into the second round of the Dubai Championships
  • 16-time grand slam champion Federer beats France's Michael Llodra 6-0 7-6
  • No. 3 seed Andy Murray labors to 6-3 4-6 6-4 victory over qualifier Michael Berrer
  • No. 5 seed Tomas Berdych and Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro also win
It was a match of two halves for world No. 3 Roger Federer as he moved into the second round of Dubai Championships with victory over Michael Llodra.
The 16-time grand slam winner took just 18 minutes to wrap up the first set 6-0 against his French opponent but struggled in the second before eventually taking it on a tie-break.
The Swiss, who recently won the World Tennis Tournament in the Dutch city of Rotterdam to take his career titles count to 71, is gunning for a fifth crown in Dubai.
"It's always great to start off a tournament winning the first set 6-0," second seed Federer told the ATP Tour's official website.
"After that, I really had to sort of make sure I controlled Michael as much as I could because I know he's a dangerous player.
"I think I was solid. I could have served maybe a touch better. But still, I was never really in a whole lot of problems.
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"Tie-breakers, as we saw, can go quickly either way, especially on a quick court like tonight. I hope I back it up day for day now."
Federer will face unseeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez in round two, after he beat Nicolas Mahut, of France, 6-4 6-4.
Britain's Andy Murray was far from his best as he labored to a 6-3 4-6 6-4 victory over German qualifier Michael Berrer in his first match since his Australian Open semifinal defeat to world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
"It was a frustrating match because I was up a break in the second set, and I gave it back," Murray told reporters.
"In 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."
Murray's next opponent will be Switzerland's Marco Chiudinelli after he beat Russian Nikolay Davydenko 6-4 5-7 6-4.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, from France, recorded a 7-6 6-4 win over Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis to set up a match with Lukas Rosol from the Czech Republic.
Rosol's compatriot Tomas Berdych, seeded fifth, enjoyed a comfortable 6-2 6-2 win over Germany's Benjamin Becker and will face Slovakian qualifier Lukas Lacko in round two.
No. 8 seed Juan Martin Del Potro, from Argentina, beat Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3 7-6 to set up a clash with qualifier Andrey Golubev.