Article previews Thursday's match-up from ATP Dubai between Roger Federer and Sergiy Stakhovsky.
Roger Federer advanced through to the third round of ATP Dubai on Thursday as he defeated Marcel Granollers of Spain in straight sets. With the win Federer set up a third round match against Sergiy Stakhokvsky of the Ukraine, a player who defeated Ernests Gulbis in the second round.
Federer and Stakhovsky have never met before on tour and there is no head to head history to examine. However Stakhovsky is ranked just 43rd at the moment and he's not a player that normally bothers the ATP Tour's elite.
So far in 2011, Stakhovsky does not have a noteworthy result and Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (#33 at time of match) is the highest ranked opponent that Stakhovsky has beaten thus far this year.
Last season Stakhovsky won two titles as he took down s-Hertogenbosch and New Haven however since August 2010 his play has nosedived somewhat and he appears non-threatening at the moment.
Federer rarely loses to a player ranked as low as Stakhovsky and in 2010, Federer went undefeated against players outside of the top 40. It does not appear that Federer will be bothered in round three from Dubai, although there is an interesting match-up brewing in the semifinals.
In the other quarter in Federer's section of the draw, Gilles Simon and Richard Gasquet are set to meet. Should Simon best his fellow French national that would set up a Simon vs Federer semifinal and few will forget the entertaining match they played at the Australian Open in January.
The match at hand, Federer vs Stakhovsky, will be played on Thursday's evening session from Dubai with a stadium start not before 7pm Dubai time (GST).