Roger Federer overcomes wobble to advance, but Karen Khachanov and Milos Raonic dumped out
Roger Federer required three sets to see off Philipp Kohlschreiber in the opening round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, but fellow seeds Karen Khachanov and Milos Raonic failed to progress.
Playing in his first match since being stunned in the last 16 of the Australian Open, Federer appeared to be cruising towards the second round as he won the opening set quite comfortably.
But then came the resistance from Kohlschreiber before the second seed finally got the job done 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 in one hour and 36 minutes.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) February 25, 2019
The 20-time Grand Slam winner broke in the first game of the match and that set him up for a one-set lead, but he wobbled on his serve in the second set as Kohlschreiber broke twice to level things.
However, he was back on track in the decider with two breaks and the win earns him a clash against Fernando Verdasco, who beat Thomas Fabbiano 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.
The fourth-seeded Khachanov fell at the first hurdle as the Russian slumped to a 6-4, 6-1 defeat at the hands of Nikoloz Basilashvili.
Georgian Basilashvili broke once in the first set and twice in the second.
Raonic is also out as the seventh seed from Canada was beaten by Jan-Lennard Struff with the German winning 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 to set up an encounter against Marton Fucsovics, who was a 6-1, 7-6 (7-5) winner over Damir Dzumhur.
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