DUBAI, February 24, 2016
Six seeds were in second round action at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Wednesday. World number one Novak Djokovic recorded his 700th career tour-level win in a first meeting with Tunisian wild card Malek Jaziri.
The 28-year-old Serbian saved the only break point he faced and capitalized on four of his own to seal a 6-1, 6-2 victory in only 65 minutes. Djokovic has become the only third active player to accomplish the feat, joining Roger Federer (1,067 wins) and Rafael Nadal (775). His coach Boris Becker is also a member of the 700 wins club (713).
“The first set and a half I enjoyed it, and then I started missing a lot of forehands, easy forehands from midcourt,” said Djokovic. “It frustrated me, honestly, a little bit.
“But I managed to win the match. I will take the positives out of tonight’s match and hopefully I will be able to raise my game even more.”
Djokovic is going to face sixth seed Feliciano López next, who beat Lukas Rosol 6-3, 7-6, firing 17 aces in one hour and 32 minutes.
“I know he likes playing here and likes the conditions. He slices, and the ball travels through the air quickly and you’ve got to be very reactive, very quick with the baseline shots, especially when you play somebody like Feliciano, who comes in very often,” Djokovic told regarding to his quartefinals clash with the Spaniard.
“I’m going to try to prepare for this match well and raise the game a little bit more than tonight.”
Second seed Stan Wawrinka ousted Croatian qualifier Franko Skugar 7-5, 6-1. The 30-year-old Swiss saved all of the four break points he faced and converted three of his own to prevail in one hour and 23 minutes. Wawrinka will take on Philipp Kohlschreiber next. The eighth seed from Germany beat Borna Coric 6-2, 7-6.
The tournament’s number three Tomas Berdych also advanced to the quarterfinals, as the Czech ended the winning streak of Italian qualifier Thomas Fabbiano through a6-2, 6-2 victory in one hour and 14 minutes to set a clash with Marseille champion Nick Kyrgios next.
“Nick is playing really good, with a lot of confidence,” said Berdych. “His game is on a much higher level than usual. He’s doing well. So for me it’s going to be a big challenge. Definitely I have a lot to give him back for last week and just really need to refocus myself, try to raise the game, and play some good tennis again.”
Kyrgios had no problems to defeat Mikhail Kukushkin, hitting 11 aces to close the match after 63 minutes without facing a break point.
Roberto Bautista-Agut cruised past Korean youngster Hyeon Chung, winning 6-0, 6-1 in the pair’s first tour meeting. The fourth seed from Spain saved the only break point he faced, converting five of his own to advance to his fifth quarterfinal of the season after only 54 minutes of play. Bautista-Agut will take on Marcos Baghdatis, who defeated Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 6-2 in one hour and six minutes.
“It’s good to win like this, playing well and doing everything you practise for and you get the result,” said Bautista Agut. “But I have to be humble and know that to win like this, it’s impossible. Every win you have to work a lot. Every win you have to play two hours. For sure, I’m happy because I won fast today but I know it’s going to be tougher and tougher.”