Easy Day for Djokovic, Tsonga Falls, Del Potro Survives in Dubai



(February 26, 2013) Dubai UAENovak Djokovic trying to win his fourth title in Dubai, defeated fellow Serbian Viktor Troicki 6-1, 6-4 in just 67 minutes on Tuesday.


Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, fresh from his tournament triumph in Marseilles, fell 7-6 (7-3), 6-2, against compatriot Michael Llodra. It was Llodra’s first win in Dubai in four attempts.


Djokovic, who is celebrating his 70th week as the world number one, swept through the first set with ease and, although he lost an early break in the second when Troicki levelled at 4-4, the top seed immediately broke again and safely served out the match.


“I wanted to be extra focused on the court today because I knew he has a big serve, as he had proven tonight, and can be very dangerous on these courts,” Djokovic said. “This is one of the fastest hard courts on the tour that I have experienced outdoors, so you need to be really committed to every point and play well.”


In contrast to that easy win, Juan Martin Del Potro was stretched to the limit by Marcos Baghdatis and needed to save three match points before squeezing out a 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) victory.


There was just one break point in each of the first two sets, and in the third it was Baghdatis who claimed the first break at 2-1.


The Cypriot then held his own serve at love to lead 4-1 but fourth-seeded Del Potro got back on serve when Baghdatis netted a backhand on break point in the seventh game.


Games then went with serve before Baghdatis held three match points at 5-4. Del Potro fought off that threat and then took the tiebreakfor the the narrowest of victories.


“He’s a great player,” said Del Potro. “He fights like me every point, and we made fantastic rallies. The crowd was enjoying the game. The match was so close, only one tiebreak in the end.


“You need a little luck to win these kind of matches, but I think I played solid in important points in the third.”


There was an upset earlier when Nikolay Davydenko beat sixth seed Janko Tipsarevic 6-0 7-5.


The opening game took 13 minutes as Davydenko fought off seven break points, and at 17 minutes the second game took even longer with Davydenko breaking to lead 2-0 on his own seventh break point.


Tipsarevic staged a brief fightback, breaking serve twice to lead 4-1, but Davydenko recovered one break to trail 2-4 and then broke Tipsarevic again as he served for the set at 5-4. A further break at 6-5 gave him the match.


“We play long, you know, deuce and advantage, deuce, so many times,” said Davydenko of the first two games. “I was really tired. In two games I was thinking match just starting and I’m already tired.”


Davydenko will now face Victor Hanescu after his opponent, Bernard Tomic, was forced to retire due to illness. Hanescu broke serve in the opening game and Tomic quit with Hanescu leading 3-2.


Third seed Tomas Berdych eased past Rajeev Ram 6-1 6-3, Marcel Granollers beat Albert Montanes 6-3 6-1, Dmitry Tursunov defeated Jan Hajek 4-6 6-1 6-2 and Tobias Kamke beat Mikhail Kukushkin 4-6 6-4 6-4.



Singles – First Round
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) d V Troicki (SRB) 61 64
[3] T Berdych (CZE) d [WC] R Ram (USA) 61 63
[4] J Del Potro (ARG) d M Baghdatis (CYP) 46 64 76(4) – saved 3 M.P.
M Llodra (FRA) d [5] J Tsonga (FRA) 76(3) 62
N Davydenko (RUS) d [6] J Tipsarevic (SRB) 60 75
[WC] D Tursunov (RUS) d J Hajek (CZE) 46 61 62
T Kamke (GER) d M Kukushkin (KAZ) 46 64 64
V Hanescu (ROU) d B Tomic (AUS) 32 ret – illness
M Granollers (ESP) d A Montanes (ESP) 63 61

Doubles – First Round
[3] R Lindstedt (SWE) / N Zimonjic (SRB) d E Butorac (USA) / P Hanley (AUS) 63 64
J Erlich (ISR) / M Youzhny (RUS) d R Bautista Agut (ESP) / A Seppi (ITA) 64 75


CENTRE COURT start 2:00 pm
T Kamke (GER) vs [3] T Berdych (CZE)

Not Before 4:00 PM
[4] J Del Potro (ARG) vs [PR] S Devvarman (IND)

Not Before 7:00 PM
M Granollers (ESP) vs [2] R Federer (SUI)
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs R Bautista Agut (ESP)

COURT 1 start 2:00 pm
[Q] D Brands (GER) vs [8] M Youzhny (RUS)
L Rosol (CZE) vs [7] A Seppi (ITA)
M Llodra (FRA) vs [WC] D Tursunov (RUS)
R Bopanna (IND) / R Ram (USA) vs [2] A Qureshi (PAK) / J Rojer (NED)
M Bhupathi (IND) / M Llodra (FRA) vs J Tipsarevic (SRB) / V Troicki (SRB)

COURT 3 start 2:00 pm
N Davydenko (RUS) vs V Hanescu (ROU)
J Knowle (AUT) / F Polasek (SVK) vs [4] M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL)
[3] R Lindstedt (SWE) / N Zimonjic (SRB) vs N Davydenko (RUS) / D Norman (BEL)
V Hanescu (ROU) / L Rosol (CZE) vs [WC] O Awadhy (UAE) / H Janahi (UAE) – After Suitable Rest