Federer Fires, Tsonga Edges Baghdatis
by Press Release|
Roger Federer began his bid for a fifth Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships trophy on Tuesday with a blistering performance that earned him a 6-0, 7-6(6) victory over Michael Llodra.
The writing was on the wall for Llodra right from the start, as Federer began with two aces and Llodra with two double-faults. Federer went on to win the first 11 points, and tied up the opening set in just 17 minutes.
The second set was far more evenly balanced, with both players holding just one break point each as the set went into a tie-break. Llodra earned a set point at 6-5, but Federer won the next three points to claim a satisfying win.
"It's always great to start off a tournament winning the first set 6-Love," said Federer. "I don't know when that's the last time it's happened to me."
"After that, I really had to sort of make sure I controlled Michael as much as I could because I know he's a dangerous player. He likes to move forward, and he obviously started to serve a bit better. I think I was solid. I could have served maybe a touch better. But still, I was never really in a whole lot of problems."
Third seeded Andy Murray laboured his way to a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 victory against Michael Berrer and was unsure of victory right until the last moments of his two-hour, six-minute battle.
A combination of some fine aggressive play from his left-handed opponent and inconsistency from Murray combined to produce a match that kept the enthusiastic crowd on the edge of their seat.
It wasn’t until 4-4 that Murray finally got the breakthrough he was seeking when a Berrer forehand error on break point gave him a 5-4 lead.
"It was quite a frustrating match because I was up a break in the second set and I gave it straight back," said Murray. "And then the third set I twice went up a break and gave the breaks straight back. So I could have made it a little bit easier for myself if I played a bit better."
Fourth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also struggled before beating Marcos Baghdatis 7-6 6-4. Baghdatis served for the first set at 5-4 but was broken, and he also held a break point as Tsonga served for the match at 5-4 in the second.
In other first-round matches, Richard Gasquet is suffering from the flu and was forced to retire after losing the first set 6-3 to former Dubai finalist Mikhail Youzhny, Sergiy Stakhovsky took just 36 minutes to defeat the UAE’s Omar Awadhy 6-1, 6-2, and Nikolay Davydenko led 4-1 in the final set but fell 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 to qualifier Marco Chiudinelli.
In other results, fifth seed Tomas Berdych eased past Benjamin Becker 6-2, 6-2, seventh seed Janko Tipsarevic also beat Igor Kunitsyn 6-2, 6-2, eighth seed Juan Martin del Potro defeated Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 7-6(5), Feliciano Lopez beat Nicolas Mahut 6-4, 6-4 and Flavio Cipolla overcame Ivan Ljubicic 6-2, 7-5.
Play continues on Wednesday 29th February, featuring defending champion Novak Djokovic, four-time winner Roger Federer, sensational Scot Andy Murray, charismatic Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and recent Montpellier winner Tomas Berdych.
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is owned and organised by Dubai Duty Free and held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Play in the $2 million ATP World Tour 500 Series event continues until 3rd March and features eight of the world’s top 10 including Djokovic, Federer, Murray and Tsonga.
- Djokovic Beats Berdych To Win Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships
- Bhupathi Wins Fifth Dubai Title With Llodra
- Djokovic And Berdych To Content Final Of Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships
- Djokovic To Play Del Potro; Federer Faces Berdych In Dubai SFs
- Del Potro Reaches Semi-Finals Of Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships
- Berdych Takes A Spin