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Federer wins in Dubai to begin latest bid for 100th title

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Roger Federer’s latest attempt to win his 100th ATP singles title made a shaky start at the Dubai Championships where he overcame Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 on Monday.

Federer entered the first-round match with a 13-0 record against the German, and broke in the first game to run through the first set.

But Kohlschreiber forced a third set between them for only the third time. In that set, Federer forced an error to break for 2-0 and held, and cruised home.

“(My thinking was to) just somehow get through. Somehow try not to lose,” Federer said. “I’m very pleased I was able to find a way. I actually played a really good third set, I thought.”

Federer won his 99th tour title in October in Basel, and his bid for the 100th has ended so far in two semifinals, then the fourth round of the Australian Open.

Next up for him is Fernando Verdasco, the 2017 Dubai runner-up to Andy Murray. Verdasco beat Italian qualifier Thomas Fabbiano 3-6, 6-3, 6-2.

The two other seeds in action beside Federer lost.

Nikolaz Basilashvili, the highest-ranked Georgian in ATP history at No. 19, upset fourth-seeded Karen Khachanov of Russia 6-4, 6-1, and Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany spoiled seventh-seeded Milos Raonic’s Dubai debut 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.

Basilashvili will play for a spot in the quarterfinals against defending champion Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain, who beat Indian wild card Ramkumar Ramanathan 6-4, 6-3.

Top-seeded Barty withdraws from French Open warm-up event

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STRASBOURG, France (AP) Top-seeded Ashleigh Barty withdrew from the Internationaux de Strasbourg clay-court tournament on Tuesday because of a right arm injury.

Barty was replaced in the main draw by lucky loser Diana Marcinkevica.

The eighth-ranked Australian said she would not take any risk ahead of the French Open, which starts Sunday in Paris.

“I gave it my best chance, but unfortunately I wouldn’t be playing my best tennis,” Barty said. “I’m busy the next two months and I need to look after my body now.”

Wild-card entry Tipsarevic advances at Geneva Open

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GENEVA (AP) Former top-10 player Janko Tipsarevic used his wild-card entry to beat Peter Gojowczyk of Germany 7-5, 7-5 in the Geneva Open first round on Monday.

Now ranked No. 317, the 34-year-old Tipsarevic is back in ATP Tour main draws after missing the 2018 season for hamstring injuries to heal.

Fifth-seeded Radu Albot advanced to the second round on a day when two seeded players lost in the final week of clay-court warmups for the French Open.

Albot beat qualifier Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 (6), 7-6 (3), after 92nd-ranked Hugo Dellien beat eighth-seeded Andreas Seppi 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, and seventh-seeded Matthew Ebden lost to Nicolas Jarry of Chile 6-2, 7-6 (4).

Rain cut short play and gave former No. 3 Grigor Dimitrov a day off after playing through two qualifying rounds.

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