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Federer falls, Murray into Dubai quarters

Associated Press logo Associated Press 1/03/2017

Roger Federer has squandered three match points in a shock 3-6 7-6 (7) 7-6 (5) second-round loss to Russian qualifier Evgeny Donskoy at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

The Australian Open champion failed to take advantage of three match points in the second set tiebreaker on Wednesday, losing two of the three opportunities on unforced errors.

"(I) surprised everyone I think today," the 116th-ranked Donskoy said.

"Whoever wins against Roger surprises himself, I think."

Federer netted a forehand on Donskoy's one set point in the second set tiebreaker to extend the match to a third set.

The Russian's dream of a quarter-final berth seemed over when he forfeited his serve in the sixth game of the third set.

But Federer was not able to close out the match when serving for it at 5-3 in the third and then watched Donskoy work his way to victory.

"I had my chances," Federer said.

"I should somehow close it out. Don't know how it got away but he did very well, and yeah, it's a rough one, for sure."

Federer was in the hunt for an eighth Dubai title.

The initial excitement in the match occurred with Federer leading 6-3 3-4 - when one set of the court floodlights went dark.

Both players then agreed to play on despite the problem and by two games later full lighting was restored.

Donskoy will play seventh-seeded Lucas Pouille in the quarter-finals.

Pouille defeated qualifier Marius Copil 6-1 6-4.

Federer's result scuppered hopes of a semi-final showdown and first meeting since 2015 between the Swiss and world No.1 Andy Murray.

Murray was impressive earlier when he claimed a 6-2 6-0 second-round win over Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

The Spaniard had won their last meeting at Indian Wells five years ago but there was no sniff of an upset here as Murray set up a quarter-final clash with Philipp Kohlschreiber.

"When I got the early break, pretty much, it was almost 30 minutes in and we'd only played four games," Murray said.

"Mentally, that was important for me, you know, to be up at that stage. I loosened up a bit after that and played really well."

Kohlschreiber posted a 6-4 6-4 second-round win over Daniil Medvedev.

Fourth-seeded Gael Monfils struggled with Dan Evans before winning 6-4 3-6 6-1 to reach the quarter-finals, where he faces Fernando Verdasco.

In an all-Spanish outing, Verdasco upset Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4 3-6 7-5.

Robin Haase upset Tomas Berdych 3-6 6-3 6-4 to set up a quarter-final meeting against Damir Dzhumur, who beat Marcel Granollers 6-3 6-4.

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