Federer, Nadal in Qatar quarterfinals
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Federer broke three times in the first set and once in the second. The Swiss star, who won the Qatar Open in 2005 and '06, will play either Andreas Seppi of Italy or Ernests Gulbis of Latvia on Thursday.
"I know how he plays, so I had the match under control," Federer said. "He plays a lot of balls on the forehand, so I was able to stay ahead in the match. There were long rallies in the second set, but I am pleased to have reached the quarterfinals."
Federer earned his 17th win in Doha, having lost only two matches in five appearances at the tournament.
Nadal improved to 6-0 against Starace, who has a 2-16 record against top-10 opponents.
"I am happy with my form," Nadal said. "This was confirmation that I am playing well. Right now, I am just concentrating on winning each game I play."
The Spaniard broke Starace twice in each set, returning well from the baseline and taking advantage of Starace twice hitting groundstrokes into the net.
"I am surprised to have won the match in two sets," Davydenko said. "I practiced for only two weeks and then I fell sick. I was on medicine before coming here, so I am still struggling with my shots."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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