Dubai, United Arab Emirates (SportsNetwork.com) - Five-time tournament champion Roger Federer was a hard-fought second-round winner Wednesday at the $1.928 million Dubai Tennis Championships.
The fourth-seeded former world No. 1 great snuck past Czech veteran Radek Stepanek 6-2, 6-7 (4-7), 6-3 in 2 hours, 8 minutes on the hardcourts at Dubai Tennis Stadium. Federer overcame a love-2 deficit in the third set by winning five straight games to assume control.
The 32-year-old Federer popped eight aces and broke the 35-year-old Stepanek on twice as many occasions (8-4) on Day 4.
Meanwhile, third-seeded 2013 Dubai runner-up Tomas Berdych scalded Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky 6-2, 6-1 and fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga advanced via walkover against fading former world No. 3 Nikolay Davydenko, who pulled out of the draw due to a rib injury.
In other action involving seeds, No. 6 Mikhail Youzhny topped Brit James Ward 6-1, 7-6 (7-3), No. 7 Philipp Kohlschreiber leveled Italian Andreas Seppi 6-3, 6-3, and Czech Lukas Rosol upset No. 8 Dmitry Tursunov 6-4, 7-6 (7-4).
Another result saw Tunisia's Malek Jaziri reach his second career ATP quarterfinal by besting Indian Somdev Devvarman 6-3, 7-5.