Archive for the 'Barclays Dubai' Category

28
Feb
09

Djokovic earns a victory in dubai.

djokovic-12Novak Djokovic won his first title of the season Saturday, beating David Ferrer of Spain 7-5, 6-3 in the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

The third-ranked Djokovic finished off Ferrer with an ace that was originally called out but was challenged by the Serb.

“That was an unusual way to finish the match, and something like this has never happened to me before,” Djokovic said. “But what worked for me during the match was that I mixed the pace well, which I think, David does not like at all.”

Djokovic was playing in his first final this year. He won the Australian Open in 2008, and added the Masters Cup title at the end of last season. At this year’s Australian Open, he retired against Andy Roddick in the quarterfinals.

The top-seeded Djokovic broke Ferrer in the sixth game of the first set, but the fourth-seeded Spaniard broke back to 4-3. The players traded breaks again, but Djokovic got the decisive break in the final game of the set.

“This was a tough match because David is a very tough opponent,” Djokovic said. “He is one of the hardest working players on the tour, and he just keeps running down every ball. He makes you earn every point.”

In the second set, Djokovic led 2-0 before Ferrer recovered with a break in the seventh game. But Djokovic immediately broke back to lead 5-3, and then saved a break point before winning on the challenged ace.

“Nobody is a favorite in a final,” Djokovic said. “Everyone has the motivation to do well. But I was physically and emotionally really involved with this tournament and to win it is a great feeling, because Dubai has a history of having one of the strongest fields on the tour. And despite some players pulling out, it was still a tough field.”

Both top-ranked Rafael Nadal and No. 2 Roger Federer pulled out with injuries. Andy Murray withdrew ahead of the quarterfinals because of a viral infection.

Ferrer was also playing in his first final of the season.

“I played a very good game and I am very happy with what I did, but he was the better player in the end,” Ferrer said. “However, I really enjoyed my week and am looking forward to more such consistent weeks in the future.”

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26
Feb
09

Murray pulls out of dubai tournament

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A virus has forced Andy Murray to withdraw from the Dubai Tennis Championships prior to his quarterfinal match against Richard Gasquet.

Murray’s first two matches in Dubai had seen him battling an ankle injury, apparently sustained in Rotterdam two weeks ago, but his withdrawal has ultimately been put down to a viral infection. He has already suffered illness this season, with his surprise loss to Fernando Verdasco at the Australian Open widely thought to be due to an infection picked up a few days earlier.

Murray is due to play against Ukraine in the Davis Cup on 6th-8th March, followed by back-to-back campaigns at the two biggest Masters 1000 events, in Indian Wells and Miami.

Murray has today discussed the illness and the immediate future:

I will have to rest and see. If I feel bad I won’t play, and if I feel fine I will play.

Doctor says I need a week, 10 days, to start feeling better again and I’ll just see. You never know with these things. Sometimes you can recover more quickly than other times.

I woke up in the middle of the night sweating. I went to the doctor and started taking anti-biotics yesterday, but I have felt very tired all week. I have felt cold and shivery and had a sore throat, I feel that my temperature is up, and my body feels bad.

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25
Feb
09

Andy ram heals arab israeli relations.

andy-ram-41Andy Ram, the Israeli doubles player who was given a visa to play in the championships after one had been denied to compatriot Shahar Peer for the women’s singles, played without any problems in Dubai..

Ram and Zimbabwean team-mate Kevin Ullyett lost 3-6 6-3 8-10 to Marat Safin and David Ferrer in their first-round match amid tight security.

“Coming here was something big, because it showed that we should not involve sports with politics,” said Ram.

“It’s a bridge that connects people, countries, culture, everything, religions, and that’s the beauty of it. That’s why I decided to go into sports and not politics.”

The match took place on an outside court with spectator seats only at one end and fans had to enter through airport-style security barriers.

Mobile phones and bottles of water were not allowed on the court but water was eventually given out to spectators in plastic cups.

Ram, who was protected by two bodyguards when he entered the court, added that he encountered no problems and would be happy to return next year.

“Definitely. Everything was just good and the people I was in touch with here were so nice to me,” he said.

“From the first moment I arrived at the airport, they took me to the hotel and treated me very well.

“I think it’s something good for the future in 30, 40 years, that something like this wouldn’t happen again.

“I decided it was the right decision to play here and I will come and try to do it again.”

23
Feb
09

murray wins despite injury

murray-8Britain’s Andy Murray reached round two of the Dubai Championships with victory over Sergiy Stakhovsky, but struggled with an ankle injury.

Murray took control after an uneven start, recovering from a set and a break down to lead 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 5-3 when his opponent called it quits.

Both men had to deal with ankle injuries – Murray missed Marseille last week because of the problem.

The Scot will face Arnaud Clement or Rainer Schuettler in the second round.

“It was a bit strange with both of us struggling with our ankles toward the end of the match, but he was aggressive, fought very well and hit some unbelievable volleys,” said Murray.

“I played a couple of bad games in the first set and was disappointed with my serve, but I was always having chances on his serves so I wasn’t really worried.

“But I think I tweaked my ankle about an hour-and-a-half into the match. I have got to see the physio now.

“The ankle was feeling a lot better during practice, but I was wearing braces then.”

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Murray is the second seed in Dubai behind Novak Djokovic, following the withdrawal through injuries of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

23
Feb
09

murray and djokovic enjoy being pampered.

murray_bigdjokovic_marseille

They are staying in one of the best hotels in the world – and have Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer to thank for it.

The top two seeds usually get invited to the city’s most exclusive pad – the Burj al Arab – for the duration of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

But, as aches and pains put paid to the world numbers one and two for this week, it was no sore point at all for the next best players in the world to be upgraded to ultra first-class.

Step forward Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray.

Murray’s and Djokovic’s two-level suites in the famous landmark built in the shape of a sale are so big they could probably play a first round match in it, easily accommodating the umpire, line judges and ball kids.

The crowd and media could squeeze in at the back.

If Dunblane’s and Belgrade’s finest hadn’t quite realised that they’d’ hit the big time, they sure know it now.

How exclusive is it?   It’s for rock stars and oil-rich Sheikhs, and now  Andy and Novak!

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06
Feb
09

will it be nadal v. federer again in dubai?

federer-und-nadal 

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All eyes will be on Dubai this month as the latest saga in the exhilarating rivalry between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal plays out at the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships (15th – 28th February), which is owned and organised by Dubai Duty Free.

Hailed by many as the greatest sporting rivalry since the likes of McEnroe v Borg and Navratilova v Evert were keeping fans enthralled in the 1980s, the current world number one and two are set to continue their fight for supremacy in Dubai from February 23.

Federer and Nadal produced another epic thriller at the final of the Australian Open on Sunday, where the Spanish sensation managed to once again get the edge over his Swiss rival in five sets.

Despite being the younger of the two, Nadal, boasts a record of 13 wins to Federer’s six during their encounters at major tournaments, and has now notched up five consecutive victories. Federer must have known he would have his work cut out for him when as the newly crowed world number 1 in 2004, he first faced the then 36th ranked Nadal who promptly beat him in straight sets.

There were plenty of contests to follow between the two, including last year’s Wimbledon final which saw the two producing one of the greatest tennis matches to date, again ultimately won by Nadal, who seems intent on preventing Federer from reaching his milestone 14th Grand Slam title.

Dubai will be the next major tournament where the two could possibly once again go head to head for the title. Federer has won in Dubai a record four times (the last time being in 2007 when he defeated Russia’s Mikhail Youzhny in the final) while Nadal has just the one title to his name – the one he claimed by beating Federer in the 2006 final.

“All sports thrive on great rivalries and one could arguably say that this is currently the greatest rivalry in sport. Federer and Nadal seem to produce spectacular tennis each and every time they come face to face on court,” said Colm McLoughlin, Managing Director of Dubai Duty Free

“With a lineup as impressive as the one we have for the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships, it is difficult to say whether they will face each other again in Dubai this year. But it is an honour simply to watch these two great stars of the game in action.”

There are no guarantees of even reaching the final however, as Federer knows full well, having succumbed to Andy Murray in the first round of last year’s tournament. Dubai hasn’t been the happiest of hunting grounds for Nadal either, the Spaniard having failed to advance beyond the quarter-final stages in his three other appearances here.

It all makes for an intriguing tournament when the duo come up against the likes of defending champion Andy Roddick, world number three Novak Djokovic, the indomitable Murray, and of course possibly each other, in just a few weeks time.

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 February 15th 2009 with the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour event and continues with the ATP tournament from February 23rd.

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