DUBAI: Andy Murray of Britain beat World No. 1 Roger Federer 6-7(6), 6-3, 6-4 in the first round of the ATP Dubai Open here on Monday.

It was the Swiss star’s second straight loss, following his Australian Open semifinal defeat to eventual winner Novak Djokovic in Melbourne in January.

It was also the first time he had lost in the first round of a tournament since the summer of 2004. And it was the second straight win for Murray over Federer having defeated him in straight sets in the Cincinnati Masters the last time they played in late 2006.

Youzhny upset

And, Fabrice Santoro beat Mikhail Youzhny, the World No. 12, 6-3, 6-4.

In January, Youzhny beat Rafael Nadal to win the Chennai title and then reached the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, but now found himself lured into over-hitting by the slices and tactical mixtures of the tour’s most idiosyncratic artist.Asked how his defeat could have happened, Youzhny said: “It’s not a question of Santoro. The problem is that I am in bad shape now and I can’t show my best form.”

Youzhny did not specify what bad shape this might be, though he did give credit to Santoro. “I like this place,” Santoro said.

“It was a great performance to beat someone like Mikhail, who has been consistent in the last 12 months.”

The results (first round): Fabrice Santoro bt Mikhail Youzhny 6-3, 6-4; David Ferrer bt Tommy Haas 6-3, 6-0; Igor Andreev bt Jan Minar 6-3, 6-4; Fernando Verdasco bt Rainer Schuttler 7-6(7), 4-6, 6-1; Jan Hernych bt Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 6-4; Andy Murray bt Roger Federer 6-3, 6-4; Nikolay Davydenko bt Mohammed Ghareeb 6-4, 6-0. — AFP

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