Roger Federer beats Philipp Kohlschreiber at Dubai Tennis Championships

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Federer was playing for the first time since losing to Greek youngster Stefanos Tsitsipas in Melbourne

Roger Federer needed three sets to beat fellow veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Federer cruised through the deciding set to win 6-4 3-6 6-1 against the 35-year-old German in his first match since his Australian Open last-16 exit.

The 20-time Grand Slam champion, 37, has never lost to Kohlschreiber, winning all 14 of their meetings.

Federer is again going for a 100th ATP singles title after moving on to 99 at the Swiss Indoors in October.

Federer, now ranked seventh in the world, is second in terms of all-time ATP victories, with only American Jimmy Connors in front of him on 109.

He is going for a record eighth title in Dubai, which has served as his off-season training base for several years.

Earlier this month it was confirmed he will make his return to clay – having not played on the surface since 2016 – at the Madrid Open in May.

Meanwhile, Russian fourth seed Karen Khachanov and Canadian seventh seed Milos Raonic suffered first-round defeats against unseeded opponents on Monday.

Khachanov, 22, lost 6-4 6-1 to Georgian world number 19 Nikoloz Basilashvili, while Raonic, 28, was beaten 6-4 5-7 6-4 by Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff.



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