Qatar Open: Djokovic make short work of Verdasco

Novak Djokovic breezed through to the quarter-finals of the Qatar Open on Wednesday, losing just four games in a comprehensive defeat of Spain's Fernando Verdasco. The World Number one triumphed 6-2, 6-2 in one hour nine minutes.

Novak Djokovic marched into the quarter-finals of the Qatar Open.   -  REUTERS

Novak Djokovic breezed through to the quarter-finals of the Qatar Open on Wednesday, losing just four games in a comprehensive defeat of Spain's Fernando Verdasco. The World Number one triumphed 6-2, 6-2 in one hour nine minutes.

It matched the score of his first round victory against Dustin Brown and means the Serb has spent just two hours on court in the first two rounds. "Both of the matches went very well," said the Serb immediately afterwards, adding he had put in a "very solid performance" on Wednesday.

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Ominously for his rivals, Djokovic looked already to be getting back to his dominant form of 2015. In warmer temperatures experienced in Doha than in the rest of the week – around 20 degrees Celsius (68 Fahrenheit) – Djokovic controlled the match from the very beginning.

He first broke Verdasco’s serve in the fourth game to 15 and was rarely troubled after that. The Serb squandered another break point just two games later but eventually closed out the set on Verdasco’s serve to go one up in just 31 minutes.

Verdasco, the world number 49 who had beaten Djokovic four times in their 11 previous meetings, offered some resistance in the second set but only enough to delay the inevitable. The Spaniard, who may have been feeling the effects of his first round victory less than 24 hours before, missed two break opportunities in the second set and was made to pay.

Djokovic, was watched on by coach Boris Becker, the first winner of the Qatar Open back in 1993. It is not yet known who Djokovic's third round opponent will be, but it was at that stage last year that he crashed out of the Qatar Open, losing to Croatia's Ivo Karlovic.

Nadal wins

Nadal was just as impressive in his 6-3, 6-2 victory over Robin Haase. He broke the Dutchman early on and never looked back. "(I am) just very happy to be through, I think I played a very strong match," said the Spaniard.

Nadal had struggled in the first round, finally coming through after dropping the first set against compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta. He plays Andrey Kuznetsov in the last eight.

Earlier Jeremy Chardy won an all-French clash beating Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-2, 6-4. Chardy will play the surprise player of the tournament, Ukraine's Illya Marchenko, who followed up his impressive first round defeat of defending champion David Ferrer with victory on Tuesday over Teymuraz Gabashvili, 6-4, 6-2.