Tsonga trumps Hidalgo at Qatar Open

Third-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga knocks over Ruben Hidalgo in the first round of Qatar Open.

     Top-ranked Rafael Nadal (top left) will play his first game against Karol Beck of Slovakia on Tuesday  [Reuters]

    Third-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga began his season with a crushing 6-2, 6-0 win over Spain's Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo in the first round of the Qatar Open.

    Tsonga had not played since October because of a knee injury, but he showed no signs of rust as he broke serve twice in the first set and three times in the second to complete a one-sided win.

    "Yeah, I played a good match,'' Tsonga said. "Everybody's friendly with me here. I feel really good.
    "I'm completely fit. I'm maybe healthier than before, and, you know, I just enjoy every moment on the court, and that's it. I hope it will continue.''

    Tsonga will face Sergei Bubka in the second round after the Ukrainian wildcard entry, who is the son of the former Olympic and world champion pole-vaulter of the same name, upset Spain's Daniel Gimeno-Traver 6-0, 6-3.

    Also on Monday, fourth seed and defending champion Nikolay Davydenko of Russia eased past Fabio Fognini of Italy 6-1, 6-4 in 63 minutes.

    Playing an aggressive baseline game, punctuated with solid returns, Davydenko, who beat Rafael Nadal of Spain in last year's final, broke Fognini in games two and four to take the first set in 25 minutes.
    Employing similar tactics, the 29-year-old Russian wasted little time in taking the second set. Davydenko fired six aces, and did not face a break point in the entire match.

    Top-ranked Rafael Nadal plays his first ATP match of the season against Karol Beck of Slovakia on Tuesday, when two-time champion Roger Federer of Switzerland also plays Dutch qualifier Thomas Schoorel.

    Nadal beat Federer in straight sets on Saturday at an invitational event in Abu Dhabi.



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