Doha, Qatar (Sports Network) - Last year's runner-up Rafael Nadal and two- time champion Roger Federer reached the quarterfinals at the season-opening Qatar Open, a hardcourt Australian Open tune-up.
The world No. 1 Nadal dropped the second set at love in a 7-6 (7-3), 0-6, 6-3 victory over Slovakian Lukas Lacko, while the second-seeded former No. 1 Federer was also tested in a 7-6 (7-5), 7-5 win against qualifier and fellow Swiss Marco Chiudinelli at Khalifa Tennis Complex on Wednesday.
Nadal needed 2 hours, 18 minutes to get past Lacko, who broke the Spanish great five times, including three in the bagel second, while Federer advanced in 1 hour, 48 minutes against his compatriot Chiudinelli. Nadal suffered a bagel set for the 10th time in 575 career matches.
The mighty Nadal was last year's Doha runner-up to Russian Nikolay Davydenko. Federer titled here back-to-back in 2005 and 2006.
The reigning U.S. Open, Wimbledon and French Open champion Nadal will face fifth-seeded Latvian Ernests Gulbis in Thursday's quarters, while the 2010 Aussie Open titlist Federer will take on sixth-seeded Serbian Viktor Troicki.
The 2010 ATP season came to a close in November when the 16-time Grand Slam champion Federer beat his great rival Nadal, a nine-time major titlist, in the final at the World Tour Finals in London. Nadal beat Federer in an exhibition tournament final in Abu Dhabi last week.
Third-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga moved on with a 6-2, 6-4 decision against Ukrainian Sergei Bubka, while a fourth-seeded Davydenko downed Finn Jarkko Nieminen 6-4, 7-5, and Gulbis grounded Croatian qualifier Antonio Veic 6-3, 6-1. The former Aussie Open runner-up Tsonga will face seventh-seeded Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, while Davdyenko will be opposed by 6-foot-10 Croat Ivo Karlovic here on Thursday.
In other second-round action, the Serbian Davis Cup hero Troicki trounced Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-3, 6-1, Garcia-Lopez topped Ukrainian Illya Marchenko 6-1, 6-4, and the towering Karlovic ousted eighth-seeded German Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (4-7), 7-6 (7-2). Troicki won the fifth and deciding rubber in last month's Davis Cup final between Serbia and France.
The winner of this $1.11 million event will pocket $177,000.
01/05 15:52:22 ET