Federer, Nadal advance into Qatar Open semis

09:22, January 08, 2010      

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Switzerland's Roger Federer watches a bouncing ball during his ATP Qatar Open tennis tournament match against Latvia's Ernests Gulbis in Doha January 7, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)


World number one Roger Federer struggled over three sets, while number two Rafael Nadal had an easy sail as both reach the Qatar Open semi-finals on Thursday.

Federer survived a scare to down 21-year-old Latvian Ernests Gulbis winning 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 to set up showdown against Russian third seed Nikolay Davydenko who beat big-serving Croat Ivo Karlovic 7-6, 7-6.

Nadal stayed in shape when Belgium's Steve Darcis retired with an injured back when the Spaniard was leading 6-1, 2-0 in their collision.


Spain's Rafael Nadal serves to Potito Starace of Italy during the ATP Qatar Open tennis tournament in Doha January 6, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)


Nadal will next play Serbia's Viktor Troicki who overcame Poland's Lukasz Kubot 4-6, 6-4, 7-6.

"This wasn't the way I wanted to reach the semi-finals. I feel sorry for Darcis and wish him a speedy recovery. I hope he plays in the Australian Open. When you know you aren't well, it's better to stop," said Nadal.


Spain's Rafael Nadal returns a shot against Potito Starace of Italy during the ATP Qatar Open tennis tournament in Doha January 6, 2010. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)


The Spaniard said he was back to his best after being plagued by knee and stomach injuries during 2009.

"Last month, I had a shoulder problem, but I believe I'm back to my best. I may not serve as fast as Roger or Robin (Soderling), but if I can serve between 190 and 200 kph, that'll be fine."
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