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Page last updated at 18:25 GMT, Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Roger Federer on course to meet Rafael Nadal in Qatar

Roger Federer
Federer won the Qatar Open in 2005 and 2006

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal remain on course for an early showdown in 2010 after both came through their second-round matches in Qatar on Wednesday.

World number one Federer needed a little over an hour to beat Russia's Evgeny Korolev 6-2 6-4.

Nadal was on court for nine minutes longer in a 6-2 6-2 win over Italian Potito Starace.

"I've been playing well lately. Today's victory underlines that I'm in very good form," said the Spaniard.

"Potito has always been a tough opponent for me."

The pair, now through to the quarter-finals, are seeded to meet for the 21st time in Sunday's final.

Third seed Nikolay Davydenko is among those hoping to prevent that happening, and the Russian brushed aside Marco Chiudinelli 6-3 6-4 to reach the last eight.

Davydenko will face seventh seed Ivo Karlovic in the quarter-finals.


Federer, who won the Qatar Open in 2006 and 2006, meets Ernests Gulbis, while Nadal will play qualifier Steve Darcis of Belgium.

Darcis knocked out Younes El Aynaoui, the 38-year-old who on Tuesday became the oldest man in 15 years to win an ATP match.

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see also
Federer and Nadal start with wins
05 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Nadal triumphs in Abu Dhabi final
02 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Soderling seals first Federer win
01 Jan 10 |  Tennis
Murray hopes for Grand Slam boost
31 Dec 09 |  Tennis

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