Top seeds advance in Dubai

(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Roberto Bautista Agut and Philipp Kohlschreiber stormed into the second round without breaking a sweat under the Dubai sun on Monday.

Both players were on the centre court in the afternoon session and both came away with easy wins to enter the round of 16 in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

The sixth seeded Kohlschreiber beat French qualifier Gleb Sakharov 6-4 6-2 in just 73 minutes.

Then Spaniard Bautista Agut, the third seed, took only 76 minutes to complete a 6-3 6-4 win over Kohlschreiber's compatriot Florian Mayer. Kohlschreiber, a semifinalist here in 2014, was in top form on Monday and hurt his first round rival with his formidable forehand.

"Yeah I'm happy with my performance. First match, you always adjust a little bit. But I felt comfortable in my game, very solid, moved my opponent well and served well," Kohlschreiber told reporters after his win on Monday.

"Overall I think it was a good match. For sure there are always aspects in the game you can improve. Today also I found a few things.

"But it was a very solid, convenient win. It's the first round. I can raise my level for the second round," added Kohlschreibber.

In the second round, the German will face emerging Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The 19-year-old Tsitsipas, who entered the tournament on a wildcard, has a huge game. But the former junior world number one had to dig deep into his reserves on Monday for his 6-2 6-7 (5/7) 6-3 win over Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin on Court One.

Meanwhile, Robin Haase, who reached the semifinals here last year, survived a huge scare in his 135-minute first round clash with French qualifier Quentin Halys.

Haase, only player to have taken Roger Federer to three sets at the Rotterdam event in the third week of February, overcame a second set slump to win 7-5 2-6 6-4 against Halys in Dubai.

It could get even tougher for the 30-year-old Haase as he faces the possibility of playing the top seed and title favourite Grigor Dimitrov in the second round.

Dimitrov begins his tournament on Tuesday against Tunisian wildcard Malek Jaziri.

On Monday, Bautista Agut played the perfect return game against Mayer in the first round.

"I felt great on the court. He was mixing up his game, and he was playing very aggressive on the return. We made a lot of good returns. I think I did a great job," the world number 22 said after the match.

"Here the ball flies after a deep return. It wasn't easy to keep the serve. Then I tried to play more aggressive in my second serve, tried to start the game with my serve a bit faster."

Bautista Agut, who came from an indoor event in France, says it's always a tough task to adapt to an outdoor event after playing indoors.

"Yes, it's very tough. That's why it's never good to lose in the first round. But to play better here, it was better for me to have three days of practice before this match," he said.


Centre Court


Philipp Kohlschreiber (Germany) (6) beat (Q) Gleb Sakharov (France) 6-4 6-2

Roberto Bautista Agut (Spain) (3) beat Florian Mayer (Germany) 6-3 6-4

Court 1


(WC) Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece) beat Mikhail Kukushkin (Kazakhstan) 6-2 6-7 (5/7) 6-3

Robin Haase (Netherlands) beat (Q) Quentin Halys (France) 7-5 2-6 6-4


Richard Gasquet (France)/ Pierre-Hugues Herbert (France) beat (WC) Denis Istomin (Uzbekistan)/Daniel Nestor (Canada) 6-1 7-6

Order of Play


Centre Court



Borna Coric (Croatia) vs Richard Gasquet (France) (5)

Not before 5pm

(Q) Ernests Gulbis (Latvia) vs Lucas Pouille (France) (2)

Not before 7pm

Grigor Dimitrov (Bulgaria) (1) vs (WC) Malek Jaziri (Tunisia)

Followed by

(Q) Yannick Maden (Germany) vs Damir Dzumhur (Bosnia) (4)

Court 1



(PR) Andreas Haider-Maurer (Austria) vs Jan-Lennard Struff (Germany)

Not Before 4pm

Filip Krajinovic (Serbia) (7) vs Thomas Fabbiano (Italy)

Followed by

Karen Khachanov (Russia) vs Denis Istomin (Uzbekistan)

Followed by

Evgeny Donskoy (Russia) vs (LL) Blaz Kavcic (Slovenia)

Court 3



Marcel Granollers (Spain)/Nenad Zimonjic (Serbia) vs Ivan Dodig (Croatia)/Rajeev Ram (US) (3)

Followed by


Joao Sousa (Portugal) vs Pierre-Hugues Herbert (France)

Followed by

Yuichi Sugita (Japan) (8) vs Ilya Ivashka (Belarus)

Court 2


Not before 4pm

Jan-Lennard Struff (Germany)/Viktor Troicki (Serbia) vs Robin Haase (Netherlands)/Matwe Middelkoop (Netherlands)


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