November 28, 2015

“Fedal” Part 34 – Roger Federer Snaps Five-Match Losing Streak Against Rafael Nadal to Win Seventh Basel Title


Federer-Nadal by Rosemary Nardone

(November 1, 2015) In their first match-up since the 2014 Australian Open semifinals, Roger Federer defeated Rafael Nadal to win the Swiss Indoors final 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 in Basel. For the Swiss competing in his 10th straight Basel final, the win which gave him his seventh trophy in his hometown, broke a five-match losing streak against the 14-time major champion Nadal. This was Federer’s 12th Basel final. Nadal leads their overall head-to-head record 23-11.

“It was a very special day,” said Federer, who was once a ballboy at the tournament. “Probably it was my best victory here in Basel.”

“I lost but I was close to winning, very close,” said Nadal.

Federer hit 12 aces, 44 winners with 32 unforced errors going 3 for 7 on break points during the two-hour and two minute match.

“It was one of my best weeks in Basel, considering everything I’ve done throughout my career here,” Federer said after the match. “I thought the match was close. I had my chances in the second, but he fought back well, like he’s done throughout the week really. Overall I was really happy how I played.
“I know I’ve had better backhand days and he’s had better forehand days than today, but the match was high quality and it was entertaining and exciting for both of us as well. The confidence is good, no doubt about that. It’s good to get back into the mood of winning after Shanghai… I think the body’s gotten used to match play again after all these weeks of not playing.”


This 88th overall tennis title for Federer, now marks the fifth tournament which he has won at least seven times – Halle (8), Wimbledon (7), Dubai (7) and Cincinnati (7).

This is the sixth championship trophy he’s collected this year, adding to this titles in Brisbane, Dubai, Istanbul, Halle and Cincinnati.

Despite the loss in the final, Nadal had good week, taking down former Top 10 players Grigor Dimitrov, Marin Cilic and Richard Gasquet all in a row to reach the final. He will see his ranking move up from No. 7.

“It’s good news for me,” said the Spaniard. “Today I have been very competitive against one of the best players in the world. And on the toughest surface for me.”

“My goal is to get back to my level and be competitive against the top players again and today I was very competitive against one of the best players in the world,” Nadal said. “The match wasn’t far away from me. He played well and I played well too. The match was very close to win, but I think he served very well in the third. I want to congratulate him for the victory and I had a lot of quality things in my game and mental side to take away from the week.”

Next stop for both men will be the Paris Masters Series event, followed by the ATP World Tour Finals in London.


Novak Dokovic Beats Rafael Nadal to Win Sixth China Open Title

Novak Djokovic

(October 11, 2015) No. 1 Novak Djokovic kept his record at the China Open perfect at 29-0 with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Rafael Nadal to claim his sixth Beijing title, his eighth title overall on the year. It’s his 56th career title.

“The scoreline, especially in the first set, doesn’t indicate the real battle that we had on the court,” Djokovic said.

“Had a couple of opportunities, especially on the 3‑2 game, Love‑30, 15‑40. Missed the volley. It was a bit unfortunate with some shots at that stage of the match.

“But, again, I managed to stay calm and still stick with the game plan to be aggressive and to make him move. It worked very well.”

“It was a very good first set, in my opinion,” Nadal said. “The result in the first set, 6‑2, I think is too much. I think for the moment I had a lot of chances. Love‑30, 15‑40, 40‑Love, and I lost all those games. That’s the real game. Then 6‑2. Should be much closer, that first set.

“In the second set, well, happened little bit what happened with the foot. I lost little bit the concentration. But at the end I finished playing well again. (Nadal hurt his foot early in the second set.)

“Very happy the way that I played the week, especially because I was able to improve every single match during the week, and especially in quarterfinals after that first set against Sock, I changed that dynamic. I played closer to the baseline. Yesterday I played a good match. Today I played a good match.

“Obviously the dynamic of him is different than my one. Especially in a very positive place for him, place where he won already six times, five times before that final. It’s obvious that is perfect place for him.

“I was competing very well in the first set. So seriously I am happy the way I played. I am happy the way that I am improving. As I said, when I arrived here, every match is important for me. All improvements are important, even if are the small ones. I felt during this week I improved a lot of things. I take a lot of positive things from the week. That’s very important for me, no?”

“I thought he did well from the backhand side,” the Serb continued. “He was more aggressive. I was looking for my kind of room for maneuver on his forehand side. He usually opens up that side. I tried to make the angles with the backhand cross.

“But I did well. I think I maintained that level of aggressivity and strength and power in my shots, and eventually I knew that he’s going to make mistakes and he’s going to give me shorter balls so I can dominate the rallies, which happened.

“I think the serve helped me a lot tonight, over 80% of first serves in, the aces, finishing off with an ace. That’s an element in my game that has worked very well throughout the entire week that has helped me to win many free points, obviously.”

Nadal still leads in the overall head-to-head against Djokoivic at 23-22. However, Nadal has lost 15 of his past 22 matches against Djokovic.

Djokovic will be the top seed for the Shanghai Masters this week. “Next week’s tournament is going to be even stronger because obviously all the best players in the world are there,” Djokovic said.

“This positive week definitely encourages me and gives me a lot of confidence for Shanghai.”

Djokovic, who has won three out of the four majors this year, has a 68-5 record this season.


Rafael Nadal Wins Grass-Court Edition of Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart

(June 14, 2015) Rafael Nadal captured his first title on grass since 2010 Wimbledon on Sunday when defeated Viktor Troicki 7-6 (3), 6-3 to win the Mercedes Cup for the third time in an hour and 27 minutes. Nadal claimed the title in Stuttgart in 2005 and 2007 when it was played on a clay court.

“I’m really, really happy. It’s my second win this year and it gives me a lot of confidence,” said Nadal of his 66th career tournament title.

“It was a great week for me,” he said.

“It’s a very special title,” said Nadal. “Since 2011 I didn’t play a final on grass, so win a title here is very good news for my game and for my mentality too. Congrats to Viktor for a great tournament. He’s playing great and will have some positives for the week.

“At this point of the season, every victory is important and every title means a lot to me. I’m happy for that.”

“In important moments my focus was not 100 per cent,” said Troicki. “He served very well the whole match. Even though it was a great week in reaching the final, I’m disappointed to lose this match. I had my chances and didn’t use them. I lost to a great champion. He served better and congrats to him.

“It’s a good result. I’m now going to London and we’ll see. I have high expectations for the grass season and this gives me a lot of confidence.”

“In important moments my focus was not 100 per cent,” said the 28th-ranked Troicki. “He served very well the whole match. Even though it was a great week in reaching the final, I’m disappointed to lose this match. I had my chances and didn’t use them. I lost to a great champion. He served better and congrats to him.

“It’s a good result. I’m now going to London and we’ll see. I have high expectations for the grass season and this gives me a lot of confidence.”

This was Nadal’s second tournament title this year, he also won in Buenos Aires.


2015 French Open Men’s Contender Profiles – Fast Facts with Jack Cunniff

(May 23, 2015) Profiles of the top Men’s Singles contenders for the 2015 French Open. Note: Grand Slam records for main draw matches only.  – by Jack Cunniff



Novak Djokovic

2015 Record: 35-2

Grand Slam Record: 187-33

French Open Record: 42-10

French Open Best Result: RU (2012, ‘14)

Fast Fact: Djokovic’s 42 match wins at Roland Garros are the most in the Open Era among men who have never won the title.


Roger Federer

2015 Record: 25-5

Grand Slam Record: 281-46

French Open Record: 61-15

French Open Best Result: Won (2009)

Fast Fact: By winning Istanbul, Federer ended a streak of 11 straight claycourt events that he had lost.


Andy Murray

2015 Record: 31-5

Grand Slam Record: 140-34

French Open Record: 23-7

French Open Best Result: SF (2011, ‘14)

Fast Fact: Murray hasn’t lost prior to the quarterfinals in a Grand Slam event since the 2010 U.S. Open (3R, Wawrinka).


Tomas Berdych

2015 Record: 32-9

Grand Slam Record: 108-46

French Open Record: 17-11

French Open Best Result: SF (2010)

Fast Fact: Since the 2014 U.S. Open, Berdych has reached the quarterfinals in 14 of his last 15 events (l. to Andujar, 1R Valencia).


Kei Nishikori

2015 Record: 31-7

Grand Slam Record: 41-22

French Open Record: 5-4

French Open Best Result: 4R (2013)

Fast Fact: In 2015, Nishikori has a winning record (7-6) when losing the opening set of the match.


Rafael Nadal

2015 Record: 25-9

Grand Slam Record: 191-26

French Open Record: 66-1

French Open Best Result: Won (2005-08, 2010-14)

Fast Fact: Nadal is attempting to win his 6th consecutive French Open, which would give him the longest Grand Slam title streak of any man in the Open Era.


David Ferrer

2015 Record: 32-7

Grand Slam Record: 124-49

French Open Record: 36-12

French Open Best Result: RU (2013)

Fast Fact: In the opening round of the French Open, Ferrer will attempt to win his 300th career claycourt match.


Stan Wawrinka

2015 Record: 22-8

Grand Slam Record: 87-39

French Open Record: 20-10

French Open Best Result: QF (2013)

Fast Fact: Since starting the year 14-1, with two titles, Wawrinka has since compiled an 8-7 record, reaching the semifinals in one of six events.


Marin Cilic

2015 Record: 4-6

Grand Slam Record: 63-27

French Open Record: 13-8

French Open Best Result: 4R (2009, ‘10)

Fast Fact:   Dating back to 2014, Cilic has lost 9 of his last 13 matches.


Grigor Dimitrov

2015 Record: 18-10

Grand Slam Record: 23-18

French Open Record: 3-4

French Open Best Result: 3R (2013)

Fast Fact: Dimitrov has lost his opening round match only twice since the start of 2014 (2014 Cincinnati, 2014 Roland Garros), the same amount of opening round losses as Federer, and one fewer than Nadal.


Feliciano Lopez

2015 Record: 14-11

Grand Slam Record: 76-53

French Open Record: 8-14

French Open Best Result: 4R (2004)

Fast Fact: The 2015 French Open marks Lopez’ 53rd consecutive appearance in a Grand Slam event, placing him fourth all-time in the Open Era (trailing Federer, Wayne Ferreira, and Stefan Edberg).


Gilles Simon

2015 Record: 20-10

Grand Slam Record: 58-35

French Open Record: 13-9

French Open Best Result: 4R (2011, ‘13)

Fast Fact: Six of Simon’s last 10 matches at Roland Garros, including his last three losses, have gone to five sets.


Gael Monfils

2015 Record: 19-8

Grand Slam Record: 68-33

French Open Record: 25-9

French Open Best Result: SF (2008)

Fast Fact: Monfils has earned seven wins in Grand Slam events over Top Ten opponents, five of those have come at Roland Garros.


Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

2015 Record: 6-5

Grand Slam Record: 84-28

French Open Record: 20-7

French Open Best Result: SF (2013)

Fast Fact: Since defeating four consecutive Top Ten opponents (Djokovic, Murray, Dimitrov, Federer) to win the 2014 Canadian Open, Tsonga has compiled a 12-11 match record, and has gone 0-7 vs. Top Twenty.


Kevin Anderson

2015 Record: 19-12

Grand Slam Record: 33-24

French Open Record: 9-5

French Open Best Result: 4R (2013-14)

Fast Fact: Anderson has lost to a higher ranked opponent in 9 of his last 10 Grand Slam events (l. to Baghdatis, 2013 U.S. Open).


John Isner

2015 Record: 18-12

Grand Slam Record: 39-27

French Open Record: 8-6

French Open Best Result: 4R (2014)

Fast Fact: Isner is the only payer other than Djokovic to force Nadal into a fifth set at Roland Garros.



Guillermo Garcia-Lopez Wins Bucharest Title


(April 26, 2015) World No. 45 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez took home his fifth career ATP trophy by taking the Nastase Tiriac Trophy final, defeating Jiri Vesely 7-6 (5), 7-6 (11). The Spaniard needed six match points to claim the title on Sunday.

The fifth seed, who is 31-years-old, became the first player over 30 to win the Bucharest title since 2010 when Juan Ignacio Chela did it at 30 years, 7 months.

Garcia-Lopez said; “It was complicated for me to close the match. I was feeling nervous, a lot of things crossing my mind, but in the end I was happy to win. It is the first time in my career that I’ve won two titles in a year.

“I feel like I’m doing the right things to improve my game and my ranking. When you work hard, there is always a reward, not only in tennis, but in life in general.”

“I’m at the beginning of my career and a success here in Bucharest would have meant more for me, but that’s life,” said “the runner-up. I will clearly be here next year and hopefully I will have better luck then.”


Roger Federer Beats Novak Djokovic to Retain Dubai Crown

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Photos by Nida Alibhai

(February 28, 2015) DUBAI, UAEDefending champion Roger Federer beat world No. 1 Novak Djokovic 6-3, 7-5 to win a seventh title at the Tennis Championships on Saturday and his second title of the year. The 17-time major champion has also notched seven title at Wimbledon and Halle.


“The seventh is quite unbelievable, what I hear people talking about that, announcing I’m the seven or six-time winner here in Dubai. Sounds pretty crazy,” he said. “I guess it definitely helps practicing in Dubai quite a bit. I know how the ball flies and the conditions here.”


The win for the Swiss marks his 84th career title. He also became only the fourth player since 1991 to hit 9000 aces in his career.


Reflecting on his first career ace, Federer said: “I think I remember which one it was even because I was even counting a little bit! I think it was one of the swinger wides maybe. I’m not sure. But I think it happened in the second set at some point. But clearly it is nice to get past that so now I don’t have to think about it ever again for the next 9,000 or so!”
It is the seventh straight year that either Federer or Djokovic has won the title. For 11 of the last 13 years one of the two has held up the winner’s trophy.


“I think the first set belonged to me, whereas the second set belonged to him more,” said Federer. “He created many more opportunities. I struggled to get into his service games more frequently. It seemed like the moment I wasn’t serving great he created chances for himself and put a lot of pressure on me.


“It was a huge game clearly at 5-All, 40-Love for him. I crawled my way back into the game and ended up breaking him. So that was big, but I think the break points saved were even bigger tonight.”


“I thought it was a good match,” said Djokovic. “I thought there wasn’t much difference, a few points decided a winner. I think in important moments maybe I could have been maybe a little bit more aggressive, but small margins, really.


“I thought he just was too good in the points where maybe I had a chance, break points. He served well. He aced. Then, you know, maybe a volley that hit the line. I congratulate him. He deserved it.


“I thought it was a good week overall. I played some terrific tennis. I’m happy with the result here and moving into now Davis Cup and, of course, the hard court season at Indian Wells, Miami, which is going to be tough obviously. But I look forward to it. I actually do feel good about how I played and how I feel physically, and I’m motivated. So I just hope I can continue to maintain that level of high performance throughout the season.”
Federer is now 20-17 lead over Djokovic in their head-to-head series.


The doubles title went to Rohan Bopanna and Daniel Nestor, defeated Aisam-Ul-Haq Qureshi and Nenad Zimonjic 6-4 6-1. It is their second title of the season and their second together. It’s Nestor’s 87th career men’s doubles title.


“I think we played a really solid match,” said Bopanna. “I think we stuck to our strengths playing aggressive tennis and a high percentage of first serves, which I think was the key. Put a lot of pressure on them.”

“We have had a good start,” Nester commented. “We have beaten a lot of good teams, which is good. Obviously our goal is to win the Grand Slams. The next few weeks are big tournaments. We have to really be ready. But if we play like we are playing and stay positive and keep working hard, we should be all right.”


Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer to Face-off in Dubai Final Again


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Photos by Nida Alibhai

(February 27, 2015) DUBAI, UAE – In a rematch of last year’s final No. 1 Novak Djokovic will take on defending champion No. 2 Roger Federer in the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

Djokovic defeated fourth seed Tomas Berdych 6-0, 5-7, 6-4 while Federer had a much easier time with lucky loser 18-year-old Borna Coric 6-2, 6-1 in 56 minutes.

“Even after the first set that went as perfectly as possible and when I was break up I knew that the match is not over,” said Djokovic. “I just wanted to stay on that level, but it was hard.

“I started making some unforced errors, backed up a little bit, less first serves in. Then he stepped in. From that moment on it was an even match, a lot of unforced errors from my side. Just wasn’t feeling the ball great in the third but somehow managed to hang in there.”

“From that moment on it was an even match, a lot of unforced errors from my side. Just wasn’t feeling the ball great in the third but somehow managed to hang in there.”

“I don’t know his game very well. Maybe I was a bit tentative in the beginning,” Federer said of being broken early in the match, “But I was still able to get off to somewhat of a good start, not being broken early, then breaking him right away. I felt like after five games I knew more or less what to expect, and I realized what had worked until that point and what had not.”

“I can see why he has so far caused difficulties for some of the top guys and he still has a lot of room for improvement in his game,” said Federer. “He does a really good job for a big guy. It’s unbelievable how in the past 10 years we have seen so many big guys moving well from the baseline. I think he returns very well, especially off second serves, and that’s such a huge part of today’s game, I believe.”

“Yeah, I was. I was. I was nervous,” Coric said. “I knew that it’s going to be very tough, you know. But when you come on the court and actually feel the ball and feel the pressure which he’s making, it’s actually been tougher than when you’re watching it on the sofa in front of the TV.

“You know, he was just way too good for me. I was feeling so rushed. I didn’t have any time to play my game plan. I was just trying to hold in the rally as long as I can, and it was basically only thing what I could do.”

For the 33-year-old Federer, it will be his ninth final, he’s won the tournament six times. Djokovic is trying to win Dubai for the fifth time.

Between Djkokovic and Federer they have claimed the Dubai trophy in 10 of the last 12 years dating back to 2003, with only Rafael Nadal in 2006 and Andy Roddick in 2008.

“When you play Roger, it’s always a great challenge,” said Djokovic about the final against Federer. “If you want to win you have to play your best tennis, especially against Roger in the final of any event, but here particularly. Because I feel like this is the kind of a surface and conditions that it suits his game the best.”

Federer holds a 19-17 career edge over Djokovic. The final will be their fourth meeting in Dubai and second in the final.


Singles – Semi-finals
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d [4] T. Berdych (CZE) 60 57 64
[2] R. Federer (SUI) d [LL] B. Coric (CRO) 62 61

Doubles – Semi-finals
[4] R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Nestor (CAN) d [2] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) 46 76(9) 11-9
A. Qureshi (PAK) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) d D. Inglot (GBR) / F. Mergea (ROU) 67(2) 64 11-9


CENTRE COURT start 5:00 pm
A. Qureshi (PAK) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) vs [4] R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Nestor (CAN)
Not Before 7:00 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [2] R. Federer (SUI)


Lucky Loser Borna Coric Stuns Andy Murray to Reach Dubai Semis

Borna Coric

Borna Coric

(February 26, 2015) DUBAI, UAECroatian teenager and lucky loser Borna Coric upset world No. 3 Andy Murray 6-1, 6-3 on Thursday to become the youngest player ever to reach the Dubai Tennis Championships semifinals.

The 18-year-old was beaten in the qualifying rounds, but received a place in the main draw when 2014 semifinalist Philipp Kohlschreiber withdrew due to illness.

“I was just trying to maintain the level and stay in the rally as long as I can, which I was doing really good, you know. I was also running very good,” said Coric currently ranked No. 84.

“I think I was really lucky with Kohlschreiber pulling out. That’s the life. Sometimes you’re going to get lucky. Maybe next tournament I will have match point and I’m not going to take it. That’s tennis. One week you gonna play good, you gonna be lucky, and it’s those kind of days for you to take opportunities.”

Last year Coric stunned Rafael Nadal in Basel, and caught the eye of Novak Djokovic, who has since practised with him both in Australia and Dubai.

“I try to help him because I see, in a way, myself through him,” said Djokovic. “I’ve never felt that way when I practice with somebody as I felt with him. It’s like playing myself. Very similar game. Great fighting spirit, disciplined, focused, committed, confident, very young but confident, which is important.”

“He didn’t make many errors,” said Murray. “He played very solid and he moved well, made a lot of balls, made it tough. I made way too many mistakes from the beginning of the match right through to the end, early in rallies, rushing points. I don’t think I’m being wrong in saying that I made a lot of basic errors, especially early in the rallies. I don’t know exactly why that was the case.”

Murray made 55 errors with only 15 winners.

Novak Djokovic stopped Turkish qualifier Marsel Ilhan 6-1, 6-1.

“He lacks a little bit of experience and confidence on being in the big stadium. That’s where I used my opportunity from the start,” said Djokovic. “I made double break, and I felt like I was in control of the match. I didn’t allow him to get into the groove. So it was a good performance.”

Roger Federer was on court for only 20 minutes as Richard Gasquet retired with a back injury after losing the first set 6-1.

“I think I played well. I served well,” he said. “Then again, you know, the test was so short that it’s tough to judge on a 20-minute match. But I think I was hitting the ball well again like yesterday. I felt able to play aggressive and do what I was hoping to do, so I was very pleased, actually.”

Tomas Berdych was stretched to three sets winning 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 Sergiy Stakhovsky.

“I think especially in the second set, end of the second set, he come up with some great shots,” said Berdych. “But that’s how it is. You know, you have to know how to deal with those situations. Again, it’s very good that I handled the third set how I did, two breaks.”


Singles – Quarter-finals
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d [Q] M. Ilhan (TUR) 61 61
[2] R. Federer (SUI) d R. Gasquet (FRA) 61 ret. (lower back pain)
[LL] B. Coric (CRO) d [3] A. Murray (GBR) 61 63
[4] T. Berdych (CZE) d S. Stakhovsky (UKR) 63 46 62

Doubles – Quarter-finals
D. Inglot (GBR) / F. Mergea (ROU) d [1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) 76(6) 26 10-8
[2] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) d R. Lindstedt (SWE) / M. Matkowski (POL) 46 75 10-7
[4] R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Nestor (CAN) d [Q] J. Murray (GBR) / J. Peers (AUS) 64 75
A. Qureshi (PAK) / N. Zimonjic (SRB) d J. Chardy (FRA) / L. Rosol (CZE) 61 62


CENTRE COURT start 2:30 pm
[4] R. Bopanna (IND) / D. Nestor (CAN) vs [2] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU)

Not Before 5:00 pm
[LL] B. Coric (CRO) vs [2] R. Federer (SUI)

Not Before 7:00 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs [4] T. Berdych (CZE)
D. Inglot (GBR) / F. Mergea (ROU) vs A. Qureshi (PAK) / N. Zimonjic (SRB)


Top Four Seeds Djokovic, Federer, Murray and Berdych Reach Dubai Quarters

Djokovic thumbs up-001

(February 25, 2015) DUBAI, UAEThe four top seeds moved into the quarterfinals of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Wednesday, with wins for Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych.

Djokovic defeated Andrey Golubev 6-1, 6-2.

“More comfortable than yesterday, that’s for sure,” said Djokovic. “Basically I didn’t have as much pressure from the opponent’s serve as I did last night. Having one match under my belt helped to feel a bit more comfortable to move around on the court quicker, and I tried to take away the time from my opponent today. I tried to be aggressive, step in.”

223 Dubai Federer in press-001

No. 2 Federer beat Fernando Verdasco 6-4, 6-3. At 1-4 down in the first set, Federer won 20 straight points.

“I’m very happy how the match went,” said Federer. “I think it was a good quality match from my side. I think Fernando played well for spells, but I think I was quite consistent. Fernando is a shot maker and he takes it out of your racquet sometimes. So I’m still very, very pleased the way I played out here tonight.”


Murray in press-001

Murray had an easy time with Joao Sousa winning 6-0, 6-2 in 57 minutes.

The Scot won the first eight games against Sousa, giving up just 10 points in the opening set.

“I thought I just picked the right shots and played the right way when he was struggling,” said Murray. “I didn’t give him any free points. I didn’t make, you know, just sort of needless errors. He was getting more frustrated because he couldn’t get any free points and then was going for more and more shots and obviously making more errors because of it.”



Tomas Berdych worked hard to claim his 500th career singles victory with a 7-6(7), 5-7, 6-0 win over Simone Bolelli.

“It was a hard day in the office,” said Berdych. “Yeah, it was not easy at all, but then in the end after two sets which were very close, then I took my chances and started to play finally my game and get a bit more to the rhythm, start to serve better. So I need to take the positives from the match, which was definitely the third set. It’s another win.”

Turkish qualifier Marsel Ilhan, had the upset of the day, a 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 win over sixth seed Feliciano Lopez.


Djokovic, Murray and Berdych Advance in Dubai

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Photos by Nida Alibhai

(February 24, 2015) Dubai UAEThe top seeds advanced into the second round of the Dubai Tennis Championships on Tuesday, with wins for Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych.


This week not only is Djokovic, looking for a fifth Dubai title, he is aiming for his 50th career singles crown. The 8-time major champion defeated Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 6-4.


“Well, first match since Australian Open final, so still looking for that rhythm on the court,” said Djokovic. “But I managed to stay mentally tough. Patient in rallies, I thought. As soon as we get through the rally, I have a better chance of winning. He’s a very flashy player, aggressive, goes after his shots. I just utilized my opportunities.”


Andy Murray held off a game Gilles Muller 6-4, 7-5.

“I made him work very hard I think on his service games. That was something I wanted to try to do from early on in the match,” said Murray. “I think the end of both sets I didn’t serve so well, but apart from that I didn’t give him any opportunities really. I thought I played a fairly high quality match.”


Tomas Berdych stopped Jeremy Chardy 7-6(2), 6-4. Chardy had a chance to serve out the first set, but failed.

“Some of the things were a little bit on my side that I made it complicated a bit more than usual, but the outcome, it’s important that I won the last point of the match and get through it,” said Berdych. “Not every day it’s going to be perfect.”


Sixth seed Feliciano Lopez and seventh seed Roberto Bautista Agut both won, but eighth seed David Goffin was upset 6-2, 7-5 by wild card Marcos Baghdatis. The Cypriot defeated the Belgian for the second time this year, winning the in second round of the Australian Open.

Rising ATP star lucky loser Borna Coric survived Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri 5-7, 6-3, 6-3. He’ll face Baghdatis next.


Singles – First Round
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) d V. Pospisil (CAN) 64 64
[3] A. Murray (GBR) d G. Muller (LUX) 64 75
[4] T. Berdych (CZE) d J. Chardy (FRA) 76(2) 64
[6] F. Lopez (ESP) d [Q] J. Ward (GBR) 64 64
[7] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) d D. Thiem (AUT) 63 62
[WC] M. Baghdatis (CYP) d [8] D. Goffin (BEL) 62 75
[Q] M. Ilhan (TUR) d [WC] A. Zverev (GER) 61 76(4)
S. Bolelli (ITA) d [Q] L. Pouille (FRA) 63 63
S. Stakhovsky (UKR) d L. Rosol (CZE) 46 61 64
[LL] B. Coric (CRO) d M. Jaziri (TUN) 57 63 63
F. Verdasco (ESP) d G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP) 75 61

Doubles – First Round

[2] J. Rojer (NED) / H. Tecau (ROU) d [WC] R. Federer (SUI) / M. Lammer (SUI) 64 76(12)
J. Chardy (FRA) / L. Rosol (CZE) d S. Bolelli (ITA) / A. Seppi (ITA) 60 61
R. Lindstedt (SWE) / M. Matkowski (POL) d [LL] A. Golubev (KAZ) / D. Istomin (UZB) 76(11) 36 10-6

CENTRE COURT start 2:00 pm
J. Sousa (POR) vs [3] A. Murray (GBR)

Not Before 4:00 pm
[4] T. Berdych (CZE) vs S. Bolelli (ITA)

Not Before 7:00 pm
[1] N. Djokovic (SRB) vs A. Golubev (KAZ)
F. Verdasco (ESP) vs [2] R. Federer (SUI)

COURT 1 start 3:00 pm
[7] R. Bautista Agut (ESP) vs R. Gasquet (FRA)
[Q] J. Murray (GBR) / J. Peers (AUS) vs R. Klaasen (RSA) / L. Paes (IND)
[1] B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) vs R. Bautista Agut (ESP) / J. Sousa (POR)

COURT 2 start 3:00 pm
S. Stakhovsky (UKR) vs D. Istomin (UZB)

COURT 3 start 3:00 pm
[WC] M. Baghdatis (CYP) vs [LL] B. Coric (CRO)

Not Before 4:00 pm
[3] V. Pospisil (CAN) / E. Roger-Vasselin (FRA) vs A. Qureshi (PAK) / N. Zimonjic (SRB)
[Q] M. Ilhan (TUR) vs [6] F. Lopez (ESP)