Archive for the '2009 Barclays Dubai' Category

27
Feb
09

Ferrer breezes into dubai final.

ferrer-2World No. 14 Ferrer, who reached a career-high No. 4 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings on February 25, 2008, is through to his first final on the ATP World Tour since June last year – when he won his seventh title at ‘s-Hertogenbosch (d. Gicquel). He improved to an 11-4 record on the season, highlighted up till now by semi-final finishes at Auckland (l. to Querrey) and Johannesburg (l. to Chardy).

Today Ferrer showed why he was #4 in the world at this time last year. He brought so much energy and concentration to the court that before his opponent realised it he had lost the first set. Ferrer was in a zone, and if he can reproduce today’s form in the final he will undoubtedly defeat Djokovic.

The Javea native is the third Spaniard in the past four years to reach the Dubai final, after Feliciano Lopez finished runner-up last year (l. to Roddick) and Rafael Nadal won the title in 2006 (d. Federer). Three Spaniards (including Nadal) have won the title (Juan Carlos Ferrero 2001, Alex Corretja 1998).

The 26th-ranked Gasquet slipped to a 10-5 record on the season. The Beziers native also lost in the semi-finals in Brisbane (l. to Stepanek) and Sydney (l. to Nalbandian) at the start of the season. He was looking to reach his first ATP World Tour final since Stuttgart (l. to del Potro) in July 2008.

“He played really well,” said Gasquet. “That’s the worst guy for me. His game is the worst for me because he has no fades in his game. He has a big backhand, big forehand and he runs everywhere, so that’s really hard for me.”

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27
Feb
09

djokovic thru to dubai final.

djokovic5tt

Top-seeded Serbian Novak Djokovic booked his place in the 18th ATP World Tour final of his career after beating Gilles Simon of France 3-6, 7-5, 7-5 in two hours and 45 minutes, at the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships on Friday. The World No. 3, who has a 13-4 season record, will meet either fourth-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer or Richard Gasquet of France in Saturday’s final.

At times Djokovic’s performance was reminiscent of his match with Andy Roddick at the 2009 Australian Open where he retired after being overcome by the heat. He never looked comfortable, he had difficulty with his forehand, and continually held up his arms in a frustrating appeal-like gesture to his supporters. Somehoe he managed to win, but for most of the match it was Simon who played better and looked to be on his way to a victory. Down a set and a break, Djokovic finaaly broke back in the third to level the set at 3-3, he broke Simon again at 6-5 to take the match. Even though he was the winner there remains a question about his physical condition, and had this been a best of 5 Grand Slam event, it is difficult to see him winning against other top 10 players. He now enters the final as the only top 10 player in the tournament, a little bit of a let down for the tournament organisers, and a gift to Djokovic for both the prize money and the points.

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21
Feb
09

A very weak field is set for Dubai on monday.

andy_murray-2

2009 Men’s Line Up

Player Name Nat. Rank
Novak Djokovic SRB 3
Andy Murray GBR 4
Gilles Simon FRA 8
David Ferrer ESP 14
Marin Cilic CRO 20
Igor Andreev RUS 22
Ivo Karlovic CRO 25
Richard Gasquet FRA 26
Feliciano Lopez ESP 29
Dmitry Tursunov RUS 30
Rainer Schuettler GER 31
Jurgen Melzer AUT 32
Simone Bolelli ITA 37
Philipp Kohlschreiber GER 38
Victor Hanescu ROU 39
Viktor Troicki SRB 46
Janko Tipsarevic SRB 49
Julien Benneteau FRA 50
Mikhail Youzhny RUS 62
Men’s ranks

This is a prestigous ATP 500 event with total purse of $2.2 million, and yet only 3 top ten players will be participating. Of the 7 who are not playing only Andy Roddick is making a statement about his feelings over the Shahar Peer situation, the others are either injured or committed to another event. It almost seems as if some higher tennis power is directing a message to the UAE tennis organizers.

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20
Feb
09

Verdasco is out of Dubai with an ankle injury.

verdasco-4

Spaniard Fernando Verdasco has withdrawn from next week’s Barclays Championships in Dubai. He joins Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer as the list of injured top 10 players increases. Davydenko the #5 player just recently returned to the tour from an injury, but is not completely healed, and Novak Djokovic has not appeared at his best since his retirement at the Aussie Open. He has undergone a complete physical examination to determine if there was any lingering effects and was give a clean bill of health. He has reached the semi final of the ATP Marseille event, and it will be interesting to see how he handles the pressure of a return match with Tsonga.
Andy Roddick, who has made a statement supporting Shahar Peer, is the first player to actually make a stand against the discriminatory policy of the UAE, and he has withdrawn from the tournament. His action should be noted and highly commended!

Andy Murray is being handed another title and another $1 million plus a bunch of ranking points that will lift him up closer to the top. It must be his lucky day!

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19
Feb
09

With nadal and Federer gone, is it time for verdasco?

verdasco-13A knee injury has caused World Number One Rafael Nadal to withdraw from the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships.

The Australian Open champion injured his right knee in the second set of the final of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam last week, in which he went down to Scotland’s Andy Murray and has been advised to rest.

“I am very disappointed not to be able to compete in Dubai but the doctor has advised me to stay home and rest after the pain on my knee in Rotterdam last week,” said Nadal.

“Nothing to be worried about but it needs some rest. I ask my fans and the tournament organisers to understand and I am sorry for this. Dubai is one of my favorite tournaments and I have always played there.

“The field is always great and more important the crowds are always supportive. I expect to be back in competition the following week for the Davis Cup tie in Benidorm against Serbia and will then be travelling to Indian Wells and Miami after,” added Nadal.

“It is a great pity that Rafael Nadal will not be able to join us this year but we wish him well in his recovery and hope to welcome this great champion back next year,” said Colm McLoughlin, Managing Director of tournament owners and organisers, Dubai Duty Free.

  With both top players out of the tournament the picture changes. Djokovic and Murray are the obvious choices to take advantage of the situation but neither one has shown much in their last games. Djokovic has not been pushed since his demise at the Aussie Open, and he looks listless on court as if he is not feeling well. Murray was soundly beaten at the Aussie Open, and even though he won in Rotterdam, the win proved nothing.

Maybe it will be the time for one of the other players to make their mark, and if Fernando Verdasco can reproduce the form he showed in Australia, he could quite easily take home the top prize. His ‘go-for-broke’ style leaves his opponents shaking their heads in awe as he hits winning shots from every corner of the court, but can his game stand up in Dubai?

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19
Feb
09

Dubai caves in….ram will get his visa!

ram-1Israeli tennis player Andy Ram will be allowed to play in a premier Dubai tennis tournament after the Arab country said it would permit the 7th-ranked doubles player to enter the country.

The Persian Gulf country banned Israeli woman’s tennis star Shahar Peer earlier this week from entering the UAE to participate in the lucrative Dubai Tennis Championships. Organizers said they feared fan anger over Israel’s recent military offensive in the Gaza Strip would spill into riots in the Arab country if Peer were to play.

Tennis governing officials warned that holding future tennis events in Dubai could be in doubt if the Emirates, which does not have diplomatic relations with Israel, continued to ban Israelis. And the ATP, which runs the men’s tournament, gave the United Arab Emirates a Friday evening deadline to decide whether to grant Ram a visa.

ATP President Adam Helfant described the Emirates decision at the “right” one.

 
“No player, who qualifies to play an ATP World Tour event, should be denied their right to compete on the basis of ethnicity, nationality or religion and we are happy that the Dubai Tennis Championships and the UAE have shown that they share that view,” ATP president, Adam Helfant, said in a statement.

Ram’s lawyer, Amit Naor, said the Israeli was playing in France and had not yet been notified about the decision.

16
Feb
09

No blogs on Dubai!

There will be no comments or blogs on the Women’s matches taking place in Dubai! If you are interested in learing who is winning or losing there are many sites to check. Will my stand make a difference? No…but we have to try!

15
Feb
09

Venus ready to play in Dubai.

venus-in-dubai

 Dubai could witness an all-Williams semifinal showdown after world number one Serena and her sister Venus were drawn in the same half of the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships today.

The two have not gone head to head in Dubai before, but there’s a long way to go before a potential semifinal clash at the Dubai Tennis Stadium.

Both sisters have been handed byes in the first round and Serena will then meet the winner of Yung-Jan Chan v Sara Errani in round two, while Venus will come up against the winner of the match between Maria Kirilenko and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the second round.

Venus was present at the tournament draw which took place at the Aviation Club today and was joined by 2007 Wimbledon finalist Marion Bartoli, who will come up against Japan’s Ai Sugiyama in the first round.

“I’m already enjoying being here. This is an exciting tournament, one of the largest events on the tour, and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a really tough field again and I’m ready to play,” said Williams after the draw.

As for being drawn in the same half as her sister, she joked: “Well, she’s number one in the world right now and her last name is Williams so people could confuse us and think I’m number one. I hope we do play each other.”

The sensational sisters form part of an incredible lineup for this year’s Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships which includes all the top-ranked women’s players in the world.

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24
Jan
09

Sharapova returns to action Feb. 15th. (fingers crossed).

sharapova_preAn unprecedented 10 out of the top 10 women’s players in the world will grace the court at the Dubai Tennis Stadium when the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships gets underway on February 15th.

And at least six of the top 10 men’s players will be in action for the ATP tournament at the same venue the following week.

This extraordinary line-up will include both men’s and women’s defending champions, Andy Roddick and Elena Demetieva, as well as crowd favourites Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and the ever-popular Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic.

“To have all of the top 10 women and six of the top 10 men confirmed for the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships 2009 is a remarkable and unprecedented achievement”, said Colm McLoughlin, Managing Director of tournament owners and organisers Dubai Duty Free.

“The incredible line-up of players that have committed to play here is an indication of what a popular and highly-respected tournament we have here in Dubai.”

 

As part of the ATP and WTA restructure, the organizers of the event have confirmed that the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships now comprises the only ATP 500 and WTA Premier 5 sanctioned tournaments in the Middle East.

The enhanced status makes Dubai not only the most highly-regarded tennis tournament in the region, but one of the most prestigious events on both the ATP and WTA Tour calendars, with a total prize money of $4 million up for grabs to the winners this year.

“It’s a great honour to continue to be associated with the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships,” said Ahmed Khan, Chief Executive of Barclays Global Retail and Commercial Banking – Emerging Markets. “We thought nothing could top the flurry of activity, top level competition and excitement we saw during our first year of sponsorship in 2008, but with the enhanced status of both tournaments and the grand plans Dubai Duty Free have for the event, we are confident that this year’s tournament will be even better.”

This year’s tournament will see world number one Nadal making his fifth trip to Dubai, where he will attempt to regain the trophy he won with a three-set victory over Federer in a pulsating 2006 final. But, with defeat at the quarter-final stage of his other three appearances, success for the charismatic Spaniard is far from assured, and his many fans will be on the edge of their seats to see if he can improve on his comparatively modest record at the Dubai Tennis Stadium.

It was Nadal who ended Federer’s winning streak here, with his loss in the 2006 final bringing to a close a fantastic run of 19 straight victories that landed the Swiss master three consecutive titles. Federer regained his crown in 2007, but last year he slumped to a stunning defeat in the opening round at the hands of talented Scot Andy Murray, and he will be anxious to reassert himself once more as the player to beat. Ever the entertainer, Murray will also be hoping to continue the scintillating form he shown already this year.

Ranked three in the world and hoping it will be third time lucky, Novak Djokovic will also be a top contender for the title. Both Nadal and Federer have struggled against the young Serb, who began 2008 by winning the Australian Open and then wrapped up the season by lifting the Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai. But he still has something to prove in Dubai, where he has failed to get beyond the semi-finals in his two previous campaigns.

As for the women’s lineup, there will be more on offer than ever before this year with the field expanded from 28 to an exciting 64 players. The increased draw means that play will now start a day earlier for the WTA tournament, on Sunday 15 February, giving spectators an extra day of action.

“Ever since the women first played here in 2001 they have proved to be a massive success, with almost every top name competing for one of the most sought-after trophies in tennis,” said Colm McLoughlin. “We are thrilled that we can now offer even more of the best women players in the world for their many fans here in Dubai.”

Forming part of the tournament’s unparalleled line-up are the iconic Williams sisters, Serena and Venus, who have amassed a remarkable 16 Grand Slam singles titles between them, as well as seven Grand Slam doubles and two Olympic titles together.

Despite their success in the biggest arenas all over the world, neither sister has yet been able to claim the trophy in Dubai, with Serena reaching the semi-finals before retiring injured against Jelena Jankovic in 2005 in her only previous appearance, and Venus also not advancing past the semi-finals in her previous three attempts.

Another superstar that is sure to fill the stands is glamorous Russian Maria Sharapova, who will be anxious to regain the ground she lost to a shoulder injury during the latter part of the 2008 season. Expected to make her return to the court in February, she will still be playing herself back into form but will be seeking to go one stage better than her previous visit, when she finished as runner-up to Justine Henin.

Play at the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, which is 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, begins on Sunday, February 15th 2009 with the WTA Tour event and continues with the ATP tournament from Monday, February 23rd – 28th.

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