ATP Doha 2012: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga Advance

Shane LambertAnalyst IIJanuary 3, 2012

Roger Federer
Roger FedererIan Walton/Getty Images

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga all inched a step closer to the 2012 ATP Doha title on Jan. 3rd as the top three seeds in the 250-level event; each won their first-round matches.

Federer faced Nikolay Davydenko, a player that the Swiss Maestro defeated in last year's final. It was business as usual as Federer dispatched of the Russian quickly with a 6-2, 6-2 win. The victory was not too significant as Federer almost always defeats Davydenko; however the Russian is at risk of falling out of the Top 50 soon.

Rafael Nadal also won his first round match in Doha. However, the Spaniard had a little bit of trouble as he faced Philipp Kohlschreiber. In a three-set match, the world No. 2 advanced 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-3. Nadal improved to 8-0 heads up lifetime against Kohlschreiber with the victory.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had his share of trouble against Tunisian wild card Malek Jaziri. Tsonga won the first set of their first-round match by just the minimum two points in a tiebreak before losing the second set by the same difference.

However, in the third set, Tsonga left nothing to chance as he earned a 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 6-1 victory.

Federer, Nadal, and Tsonga are on the order of play for Wednesday, January 4th as each player looks to advance to the third round in Doha. The schedule for center court is below:

CENTER COURT start 3:30 pm

Flavio Cipolla (ITA) vs [3] Jo-Wiflried Tsonga (FRA) 
[1] Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs [Q] Denis Gremelmayr (GER) 
[Q] Grega Zemlja (SLO) vs [2] Roger Federer (SUI) 
[4] Gael Monfils (FRA) vs Benjamin Becker (GER)

None of the top four seeds look as though they will face a challenge in the second round. Arguably Federer and Nadal faced stronger opponents in the first round than what they have in front of them in the second round.

The possibility of a 'Fedal' final in Doha is very much intact, although French players Tsonga and Monfils are very dangerous as well.