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Dubai Championships: Federer earns a three-set opening round win against Kohlschreiber

27 February 2019

Swiss 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer snatched a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 victory over German Philipp Kohlschreiber in the Dubai Championships round one.

Despite enjoying a 13-0 head-to-head record against Kohlschreiber coming into the contest, Federer said his mindset ahead of the deciding third set was to somehow avoid an early defeat against the German.

Federer got back his focus on his service games in the decider to concede just 2 points on serve for the entire set.

The final game of the set was a nine-minute thriller, with the Swiss seed saving three set points before Kohlschreiber levelled the match with a volley victor.

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"I've had a very successful run here in the past, some good and some also not so good, that's how sport is".

"I think he (Verdasco) has got one of those wonderful forehands on tour".

"We've seen the great shot-making he has been able to produce over the course of his career".

"Hopefully [I will] in a few days' time but I still have a long way to go and I hope I don't have to speak about my 100th title for years or weeks or months to come". He can definitely peak against the top guys.

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The second seeded Swiss has never lost to Verdasco in six meetings, last beating the 35-year-old Spaniard in Dubai en route to the title four years ago.

Meanwhile, Russian fourth seed Karen Khachanov and Canadian seventh seed Milos Raonic suffered first-round defeats against unseeded opponents yesterday.

Basilashvili will play for a spot in the quarterfinals against defending champion Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain, who beat Indian wild card Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-4, 6-3.

The 20-time Grand Slam victor broke the German in the first game and barely looked in trouble as he won the first set in just 31 minutes.

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Khachanov, 22, lost 6-4, 6-1 to Georgian world number 19 Nikoloz Basilashvili, while Raonic, 28, was beaten 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 by Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff.

Dubai Championships: Federer earns a three-set opening round win against Kohlschreiber