Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Rafael Nadal struggled to a 3-6, 6-1, 6-4 win against Philipp Kohlschreiber on Monday and reached the second round of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

The second-ranked Spaniard said the fast surface and the difficult draw made things hard on him.

``Sure, it was a tough match,'' said Nadal, who lost in the second round last month in Rotterdam, Netherlands. ``You play the first round like you'd play a quarterfinals.''

Kohlschreiber, ranked 27th, had 12 aces in the match.

Eighth-seeded Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic also advanced, beating Gael Monfils of France 6-3, 6-2.

Mikhail Ledovskikh of Russia, Paul-Henri Mathieu of France, Olivier Rochus of Belgium and Feliciano Lopez of Spain also reached the second round.

On Monday, top-ranked Roger Federer lost his second straight match.

The 12-time Grand Slam champion, who had won four of the last five titles in Dubai, lost to Andy Murray 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-4 in his first match since losing to Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open semifinals.

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