The number one and two seeds in the 2012 Qatar Open Men’s Singles tournament both came through their second round matches to claim a place in the quarter-finals, on Wednesday 4th January 2012, in Doha.
Rafael Nadal (1) defeated Germany’s Denis Gremelmayr in straight sets, winning 6-2 6-2. Nadal’s ferocious service returning proved to be the difference between the two players, and the Spaniard looked to be getting close to his best at times during the match.
Swiss ace Roger Federer (2) was also in scintillating form to overcome the challenge posed by 25 year old Croatian Grega Zemlja, who is ranked 116 in the World by the ATP. Federer dropped just five games en route to a 6-2 6-3 straight-set victory, which saw the Swiss smash five aces, though Federer will hope to increase his first serve percentages in the later rounds – he managed only 52% of 1st serves today.
All of the other players to have made it through the second round thus far were seeded, including third seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (3), who defeated Flavio Cipolla 7-6 6-3.
Federer will face 38th ranked Andreas Seppi (8) in the quarter-final, while Nadal will meet Mikhail Youzhny (7), who is ranked 35 in the world.
While many treat the Qatar Open as a warm-up and curtain raiser for the first “major” of the season, the Australian Open, with prize money of USD $1,024,000, and two of the top three players in the world present, there is still everything to play for in Doha.