Roger Federer’s latest attempt to win his 100th ATP singles title made a shaky start at the Dubai Championships on Monday in Dubai, United Arab Emirates 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.

FOOTBALL

NFL: The team is making progress toward completing a lease to keep the team at the Oakland Coliseum for at least one more season.

Coliseum Authority director Scott McKibben said the two sides are having “good, constructive talks” for finalizing a new lease for 2019 with an option for 2020. But McKibben says there are still details to be worked out before a contract can be brought to the board for approval. McKibben says that could happen by the end of next week.

Baltimore released wide receiver Michael Crabtree after just one season, according to multiple media reports.

• The Chargers re-signed defensive back Jaylen Watkins, who missed last season after suffering a knee injury in the second preseason game.

XFL: Former NFL head coach Jim Zorn will be the coach and general manager of Seattle’s franchise in the new XFL. Zorn was head coach of the Washington team in the NFL for two seasons, but has been out of coaching since 2012.

SOCCER

CHELSEA: Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga apologized in a club statement for refusing to be substituted in the English League Cup final.

The world’s most expensive goalkeeper was fined one week’s wages.

Manager Mauricio Sarri ordered Kepa to be substituted on Sunday as the final against Manchester City at Wembley Stadium was heading to a penalty shootout. Kepa had been cramping, but gesticulated wildly that he was not going to leave the pitch. Sarri was furious, too. His authority undermined by Kepa’s insubordination, he walked down the tunnel and returned just before the end of extra time.

– Staff and news services


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