Federer survives scare in Dubai
Roger Federer overcame an early hiccup to beat wildcard Malik Jaziri 5-7 6-0 6-2 in the opening round of the Dubai Tennis Championships.
Defending champion Federer, seeded second behind world number one Novak Djokovic, 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, Federer, in the hunt for his sixth win at this ATP World Tour event, powered back to claim the second set with ease 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 due to battle it out on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, 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.
Seventh seed Seppi ended a four match losing run to beat Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-3 7-5, converting six of 15 break point chances, to line up a second round match with Rosol.
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 on Tuesday, including Juan Martin del Potro who takes on Marcos Baghdatis, Tomas Berdych who is in action against American Rajeev Ram and Janko Tipsarevic plays Nikolay Davydenko.
France's big-hitting Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is the last on court on Tuesday as he starts his campaign against countryman Michael Llodra.
The day's final game saw Somdev Devvarman get the better of Igor Kunitsyn 6-1 6-4.