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Rediff.com  » Sports » Nadal, Federer advance in Doha

Nadal, Federer advance in Doha

January 07, 2009 10:57 IST

Spain's Rafael Nadal began his ATP Tour season by demolishing Frenchman Fabrice Santoro 6-0, 6-1 at the Qatar Open in Doha on Tuesday.

Roger Federer, seeded second behind Nadal, and third seed Andy Murray also notched easy wins to reach the second round.

Federer maintained his perfect record over Italian Potito Starace with a 6-2, 6-2 win in 48 minutes, while Murray saw off Spain's Albert Montanes 6-2, 6-4.

World number one Nadal showed no mercy on Santoro, who is in his 21st year on the Tour, as he took the first set in just 18 minutes with three breaks of serve.

Nadal's power and precision continued to make life impossible for Santoro, who had predicted that his first match at the tournament would be his last.

"I didn't expect this to be so easy," Nadal told reporters.

"I hope to do well in 2009, just as I did in 2008. I don't think there is any need of extra preparation, but the only thing is that you need to practise hard."

Murray's career record in Doha is now 10-1, with his only loss coming in the 2007 final to Croatia's Ivan Ljubicic.

"It was good result in the end," he said after his convincing win over Montanes. "I was a bit nervous initially and lost my concentration towards the end of the second set but I'm happy to win in two."

Federer had more problems with the cold and windy conditions than with Starace.

"It was a good victory, a good warm-up, good practice," said Federer. "It was good to start off with a win, but the conditions were tough, quite windy.

"Under such circumstances my focus was on not getting injured, especially at the beginning of the year."

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