Archive for the 'Qatar Open' Category


Davydenko comes from behind to defeat Nadal.

Today’s Qatar Exxon Mobil Final must go down as one of the all time greatest comebacks by any player. After losing 6-0 in the first set, Nicolay Davydenko rallied to win 0-6, 7-6, 6-4 against Rafael Nadal. Nadal had match points in the tie breaker but couldn’t put the game Russian away. He led 4-1 in the fourth set, but Davydenko came back to tie and then go ahead. Nadal, who was outplayed by the ground strokes of Davydenko, continued with his game plan that had worked in the first set when Davydenko was still asleep, but he should have changed when it became obvious that Davydenko was hitting the ball with perfect depth, and close to the lines.

Davydenko is now one of the few players who have beaten both Nadal and Federer in tournament, and he has pulled of the feat twice!

Davydenko is the hottest player on the ATP Tour right now and must be considered as a potential winner of the upcoming Aussie Open. In past Grand Slams he has failed to be consistent over the two week period of a slam, and has only made a final on one occasion.


Federer and Nadal cruise through with ease.

The world’s top two players, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, launched their 2010 ATP Tour campaigns with straight-set wins at the Qatar Open.

World number one and top seed Federer cruised past Belgian Christophe Rochus 6-1 6-2 in the first round in Doha.

Earlier on Tuesday, Nadal, who is carrying less muscle bulk than last year, beat Simone Bolelli 6-3 6-3.

Bolelli was broken twice in the first set and once in the second by Nadal, who closed the match out with an ace.

Other winners on Tuesday included Poland’s Lukasz Kubot, who thrashed Karim Maamoun of Egypt 6-0 6-2, and Younes El Aynaoui of Morocco, who defeated American Ryler DeHeart 7-6 (7-3) and 7-6 (7-4).


Roddick and Monfils easy winners in qatar open.

roddick-2Fourth-seeded Andy Roddick moved into the second round of the Qatar Open with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Ivan Navarro of Spain on Monday.

Fifth-seeded Gael Monfils of France also advanced with 6-2, 6-2 win over Jan Hernych of the Czech Republic.

“It’s a good start to the year,” said Roddick, who served eight aces. “I am pretty happy with my play. I didn’t do anything stupid. I returned well. I got what I wanted from the match. I have been training hard in the offseason.”

Monfils, the 2006 finalist who broke into the top 20 last year and was a surprise semifinalist at the French Open, was delighted with his performance, which included seven aces.

“It’s good it wasn’t a long match but I practiced hard before the season began,” he said. “I did everything and it was a perfect match for me.”

Top-ranked Rafael Nadal and No. 2 Roger Federer play Tuesday at the $1.2 million tournament.

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The ATP schedule for January 2009.


For the men who compete as professionals on the ATP tour, and are required to enter and play in all four Grand Slam events plus at least another 9 events over the course of the year, a decision has to be made as to where they will play. They must consider the timing of each event, as playing back to back tournaments should they be fortunate to make the final, would be exhausting. They also have to be aware of which other players will be competing. Sometimes the chance of placing in the money at a smaller tournament is considerably better than losing in the early rounds of a much larger tournament. They know they have to be in Melbourne for the 2009 Australian Open no later than January 19th., and preferable a couple of days ahead of time to get acclimated.

There are 5 ATP tour events scheduled for the month of January in addition to the Open. Two are held in Australia, and one each in New Zealand, India and Qatar. Here are their choices, and the details of the 2008 results.

The Adelaide tournament starts on December 31st. and runs through January 6th. Prize money is $465,000. The 2008 winner was Frenchman Michael Llodra who beat Jarkko Neiminen of Finland 6-3, 6-4 in 77 minutes. Adelaide is home to Lleyton Hewitt who describes the city as, “a small friendly place that provides a warm intimate atmosphere. It has great restaurants, wonderful beaches, and is home to the Adelaide Crows football team.

Some players prefer to remain in Australia and move over to Sydney to play there in the Medibank International tournament which starts on January 12th., winds up on January 18th. and allows sufficient time to proceed on to the Open in Melbourne. Sydney is Australia’s largest city, famous for the Opera house, the Harbour, the beaches and its cosmopolitan atmosphere. In 2008 Russian Dmitry Tursanov won his fourth ATP title with a win over Australian wild card player Chris Guccione 7-6, 7-6, in a match which had the home crowd on the edge of their seats for the entire two hours.

For the players who skip the Sydney tournament and choose to play in Auckland New Zealand, this event’s dates are January 12th. – 17th. Auckland is ranked as one of the best cities in the world to live in, it has everything to offer from its Polynesian culture to its sophisticated modern panorama of fine restaurants, entertainment and sports. The Heineken Open was won by Phillip Kohlschreiber over Juan Carlos Ferrero 7-6, 7-5, a first time winner from Germany of this event.

Two other tournaments are scheduled for the same week in early January, the Qatar Open and the Chennai Open in India. Prize money in Qatar is $1 million(probably the reason for the competitive field in 2009), and for Chennai $436,000. The Qatar Exxon/mobil tournament was won by Andy Murray in 2008 over Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4, 4-6, 6-2. The Chennai event was won by Russian Mikhail Youzhny over Rafael Nadal 6-0, 6-1, a surprising result to say the least.

It’s a tough choice for the players, but building confidence and getting in shape is of the utmost importance if they expect to do well in the 2009 Australian Open.

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Will the 2009 season be the Last Hurrah for Andy Roddick?


Is Andy’s dream of becoming a serious contender again in a Grand Slam event over, or does he have one last chance at the upcoming 2009 Australian Open? He lost in the 3rd. round to virtually unknown Kohlschreiber in 2008, which as well as being a bitter disappointment to him, also set him back for most of the season. It is a pattern of badly played matches against competitors that on paper he should beat with ease, that has haunted Andy since his meteoritic climb into the top ten six years ago. A position he has retained ever since. He possesses the fastest serve in tennis today, not necessarily the best service, and he has a forehand that is as good as that of any player on the tour. He’s fit, he works hard, he is well liked both on and off the court, and he has had some of the best coaches working in his camp. So wherein lies the problem?
Anybody who watches tennis knows just by looking at Andy on the court that he appears to be a nervous wreck. Maybe its just the way he is every day, but as he twitches his neck, or hoists his shirt up off his shoulders, or tugs on his hat, it is apparent that he is rushed, and far from relaxed. Maybe his engagement to swimsuit model Brooklyn Decker will help to calm him down, or at least provide an extra motivating presence.
After losing to Federer time and time again he did eventually beat him in 2008, but then a lot of players beat Federer in 2008. He also beat Nadal and Djokovic, but was badly beaten by Djokovic on his home court at the US Open in front of his thousands of raucous fans. He just competed in Barcelona against Spain in the Davis Cup where he was beaten in 5 sets by David Ferrer.
Does the American press expect too much from him? Just because he is the highest ranked American player, currently 6th., is he expected to be another Sampras, or an Agassi or even a McEnroe? Could it be that this expectation of greatness from the outside applies so much pressure from within on Andy that he doesn’t even play up to his own capabilities all of the time. Maybe its like having Big Brother watching and criticizing. If he wins a regular tour event it is a non-news item, kind of counts for nothing anymore, he is expected to win the ‘Big’ one. After all, he did it once before. He has referred to this complex as the Neil Armstrong syndrome saying, “After you’ve been to the moon, what else is there?” Maybe the Australian Open will be his second Grand Slam win, or if it isn’t, will it be the end of Andy’s quest?
Off the court Andy’s AR Foundation is providing meals and help to underpriviliged kids, people less fortunate than himself and most of us who support him, and this work that comes from his generous heart maybe of more importance to him than ‘winning’ another tennis event.

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Andy Murray to defend Qatar Title in January.

andymurraydoha2008Winning the 2008 Qatar Open kick-started his phenomenal 2008 season, where he finished as a strong Number 4 in the world, and won a couple of Master’s series Cups along the way. He recorded victories over all three players ahead of him in the rankings, and proved to himself and to the world, that he has the skills to win his first Grand Slam event in 2009, and maybe move up to be Number 2! He is enjoying a few weeks off from tennis, working out, jogging, pumping iron and trying his damnedest to put on 6-8 pounds. He’s welcome to stay with me for a couple of weeks, eat what I eat, and I can guarantee he’ll put on at least 10 pounds! He will spend a family Christmas at his Grandma’s home, and if his Grandmother cooks anything like mine used to do, he should pack on a few pounds in a hurry. He is trying to improve his durability, and his recovery power, the two areas where he feels he needs to improve if he is going to win a major tournament. He was obviously tired after his victory over Roger Federer in Shanghai, and after he lost the first set to Davydenko in the semi final, he knew he was finished.
The 2009 Qatar Open will not be a cake walk, not an easy tournament to start the season, the 32 man draw announced just yesterday includes a few of the other top players along with Andy. Both Nadal and Federer will be there, along with Andy Roddick, and 5 other players ranked in the top twenty. Only Novak Djokovic is missing from the top group, he has decided to get an early start on his defence of his Australian Open title by playing the Brisbane event.

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