Dubai Championships: Federer out, Donskoy has last laugh

Mamie Roberson
March 5, 2017

Roger Federer, electric craft and clear-thinking head, nailed the reason for his shock, second-round exit from the Dubai Duty Free tennis championships, in much the fashion he sees openings and finds the lines when on a tennis court.

The 26-year-old Donskoy, for whom compatriot Mikhail Youzhny stood in as coach, came into the match not knowing what to expect.

But world-ranked 116 Donskoy battled back to stun the third seed and set up a quarter-final clash against Lucas Pouille of France with a thrilling 3-6, 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (7/5) victory.

Adding to the challenge for the Russian was playing against Federer for the first time. I had my chances.

"I just think it's still the beginning of the comeback and I've got to take the positives out of playing again a tournament where I feel I'm quite healthy and I'm happy I got over the injury I sustained at the Australian Open", he said. Pouille defeated qualifier Marius Copil 6-1, 6-4. I felt exhausted all day. "But now here I'm explaining what didn't go well".

Earlier, world number one Andy Murray was too good for the talented but erratic Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in his 6-2 6-0 first round win.

The 26-year-old found plenty of rhythm on his serve after losing the opener but a odd occurrence delayed his progress midway through the second set as the lights went out.

After saving a set point after play resumed, Federer had three match points in the tie-break, but he was unable to convert any of them as Donskoy levelled up the match.

"When I got the early break, pretty much was nearly 30 minutes in and we'd only played four games", Murray said.

Garcia-Lopez did put up a fight until the first three games of the first set before completely losing the plot.

"Mentally, that was important for me, you know, to be up at that stage".

"I played very well".

German veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber, a former Dubai quarterfinalist, was in top form in his 6-4 6-4 win over Russian Daniil Medvedev. He uses the angles of the court well.

In an all-Spanish second-round outing, Verdasco upset sixth-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.

The Dutch caused a major upset on Wednesday by beating Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-3 3-6 4-6 in his second round match.

Fourth-seeded Gael Monfils struggled with Dan Evans before securing a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 win to reach the quarterfinals, where he faces left-hander Fernando Verdasco.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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