Novak Djokovic took 90 minutes to book his place in the quarter-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships on a day when seven of the eight top seeds all successfully advanced. Djokovic recovered from a break down in the second set to beat Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 and seal a last-eight showdown against his friend and fellow Serbian Janko Tipsarevic. Tipsarevic, seeded seven, shrugged off a below-par first set to beat Italy’s world number 86 Flavio Cipolla 6-7 (7-2) 6-1 6-1, and Djokovic expects a much tougher match against his Davis Cup team-mate. Djokovic told atptour.com: “[Janko] is very dangerous from the baseline. When he has time and steps into the court, he is very dangerous. I need to try to be aggressive and stay close to the line.”
The only top eight seed to fail to reach the quarter-finals was American sixth seed Mardy Fish, whose disappointing recent form continued as he was beaten 6-2 7-6 (7-0) by Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny. Next up for Youzhny is second seed Roger Federer, who swept past Feliciano Lopez of Spain 7-5 6-3 and said: “I stayed calm and found a way to come through. These are the kinds of matches you need at this stage in a tournament.”
Third seed Andy Murray had few problems dispatching Swiss qualifier Marco Chiudinelli 6-3 6-4. Murray did not face a single break point in the match and broke his opponent twice to ensure a routine progression. Murray’s next opponent, Czech fifth seed Tomas Berdych, enjoyed an even more comfortable run to the last eight with a 6-1 6-2 win over Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko in just 69 minutes.
The final quarter-final will be between in-form Juan Martin Del Potro, who beat qualifier Andrey Golubev 6-4 6-2, and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who was a 6-3 6-4 winner over Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic.