Second seed Roger Federer and Mikhail Youzhny, seeded eighth, through to second round at Aviation Club.
Dubai Tennis Championships: Roger Federer overcomes early setback to book place in second round
Roger Federer overcame an early hiccup to come from a set down and beat the wild-card Malik Jaziri 5-7, 6-0, 6-2 in his first-round match in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships last night.
Federer, the second seed, got his title defence off to a less than perfect start when he failed to convert three break points in the first set before Jaziri succeeded in breaking him to move ahead.
However, the Swiss, in the hunt for his sixth win at this ATP World Tour event, powered back to claim the second set with ease by winning every game before he continued his dominance in the third.
Federer will now play either Marcel Granollers or Albert Montanes in the second round, with the two Spaniards to battle it out today.
Meanwhile, the eighth seed Mikhail Youzhny beat Blaz Kavcic 1-6, 6-1, 6-3 in his first-round match to progress in the tournament.
The 30-year-old Russian broke serve five times on the way to his fifth win of the season.
"I'm happy because I didn't play well, but I passed the first round," Youzhny told atpworldtour.com.
"I know the second round will be also tough. You can feel really confident and lose second round or you can feel really bad and play finals. I try not to think about this. I try to go on the court and just play."
There were also first-round wins for Roberto Bautista-Agut, Andreas Seppi and Daniel Brands while Lukas Rosol also booked his place in the second round.
Seppi, the seventh seed, ended a four-match losing run to beat Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-3, 7-5, converting six of 15 break point chances. He meets Rosol in the second round.
Seppi said: "I just tried today to play a little bit more solid and keep the ball a little bit more in the centre, not to play so many angles.
"I think I managed well to win this match. It's my first victory here, so good for me."
Plenty of big names begin their tournament today, including Juan Martin del Potro, who takes on Marcos Baghdatis, Tomas Berdych who is in action against the American Rajeev Ram and Janko Tipsarevic plays Nikolay Davydenko.
France's big-hitting Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is the last on court this evening as he starts his competition against his countryman Michael Llodra.
* Press Association
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