Posted on January 07, 2011

World no. 1 Rafael Nadal and no. 2-ranked Roger Federer cruised their way to a hard-earned semifinals berth at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2011.

In the quarterfinal clash on Thursday, second seed Roger Federer overpowered Serbia’s Davis Cup hero Viktor Troicki 6-2, 6-2.

The 29-year-old Federer faces third seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who continued to mount a strong comeback from the knee injury that marred his 2010 campaign by edging Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 7-6(4), 7-6(9).

"I feel great. I thought it was a great match for me," Federer told the official ATP Tour website.

"Viktor was obviously coming off a fantastic win with Serbia in the Davis Cup, so I knew it was going to be difficult and that's why I had that extra focus. I was able to play really well tonight and I'm very happy."

In an evenly-matched contest, Tsonga was able to impose himself on the biggest points, with his forehand drive proving to be a particularly potent threat.

The 2008 Australian Open finalist produced two aces to save set points in the second tie-break before producing a forehand pass to win the breaker 11-9.

World No. 1 Rafael Nadal came through another close encounter when he beat Ernests Gulbis 7-6(3), 6-3 in the quarterfinals.

"It is always a difficult match against him," Nadal said. "You have to play special against him. I did my best today and I am happy about it. ... I pushed him hard and broke him many times. I am playing well. My target here is to win."

Nadal plays defending champion Nikolay Davydenko in Friday’s semifinals. The Russian defending champion Davydenko defeated Ivo Karlovic of Croatia 6-3, 7-5.

HE Sheikh Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Secretary General of Qatar Olympic Committee witnessed Nadal against Gulbis match with the Qatar Tennis Federation President, Nasser Bin Ghanim Al Khelaifi.