You Say Dubai, I Say Money
by Sean Randall | March 1st, 2008, 2:44 pm

Must be nice living in a place where oil flows like water in your backyard. With oil comes – among other things – money. And with money comes the ability to erect giant hotels that look like sailboats, build indoor ski slopes in the desert, throw down new islands in the ocean and basically resurface and reshape our planet. Of course I’m talking about Dubai, which is also putting some of that oil money into tennis, and from the looks of the field they are not shy about opening the wallet. ADHEREL

Tiger Woods was reportedly paid $3 million just to show for a golf tournament in Dubai a few years back, so just a guess, but I’ll say that if they are tossing one golfer $3 mill, I’m sure they’d budget that near that amount for a bunch of tennis guys like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Roddick and a few others, maybe my man Gael Monfils even got some!

Okay, enough guarantee talk, I’ll leave it to the math wizzes to work out fair values. On to the draw. How rare is it to see a field in which it seems just about everyone has a tough draw? There really are no easy matches (okay, maybe Davydenko has one).

Starting from the top, top seeded Federer opens with Andy Murray, no easy task, and then may run into Nikolay Davydenko in the quarterfinals. No. 4 seed David Ferrer meets Tommy Haas in round one, while his slotted quarterfinal opponent, Tomas Berdych, draws Monfils.

The bottom half is just as tough. Richard Gasquet’s Dubai bid begins with Dmitry Turnsunov and if the Frenchman’s lucky and gets to the quarterfinals Djokovic may await. Then again, Djokovic may not get there as the Serb faces teen Croat Marin Cilic in a first rounder that will garner attention back in their respective homelands.

Roddick makes his Dubai debut against fellow former No. 1 Juan Carlos Ferrero. If the American advances past the Spaniard and then Paul-Henri Mathieu in the second round, a tasty showdown with Rafael Nadal on Friday could be in the cards. But Nadal will likely be tested immediately in the first round from Phil Kohlscreiber who could backhand his way to an upset.

And there you have it. Quite a draw. Thank God for oil money, thank God for 32-draw fields and no byes. I just wish this event was on TV here in the U.S. because that, folks, is a fascinating draw.

Looking at it closer, seven of the Top 8 seeds could very well tumble in the first round. I’m not saying it will happen, but unlike just about every other draw I’ve ever seen, this one in my opinion, offers that possibility.

That said, Federer’s still the default the favorite. The guy basically lives in Dubai, so he should be the most comfortable. Then again, he hasn’t played in a month, and he really didn’t play well in his last three matches at the Australian Open, so who knows. But I’ll stick with him, though I could see him losing to Davydenko in the quarterfinals. I also like Berdych to come through to the semifinals.

I like Gasquet for some reason in the bottom half. I’m not convinced of Novak’s health or Nadal’s form right now, so I’ll lean to the Frenchman beating the Spaniard in the semifinals. But really, this event’s a toss up, which, after a dull February, should make for a real intriguing week of tennis, and a perfect start to March Madness.

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69 Comments for You Say Dubai, I Say Money

sensationalsafin Says:

Wow, just about every prediction you made goes against everything that’s happened in the last few years. Davydenko beating Federer? Maybe when hell freezes over. Murray will beat him in 3 sets. This tournament might as well go straight to Grand Slam status. I completely agree that this draw is just great. I mean, definetly the best draw I’ve ever seen. So many great match-ups in the very first round. Wow! This is the type of tournament Djokovic wants to win, to show everyone he’s number 1. So he’ll beat Nadal in the semis and depending on how tired he is, he should beat Murray in the final. Oh and Murray’s going to beat Ferrer in the semis.

At the end of the tournament the top 3 will not change. Federer will lose points but not enough to be overtaken by Nadal. And Djokovic won’t gain enough to overtake Nadal. But they will move in the “right” direction: Federer’s going down, Nadal’s staying about the same, and Djokovic will be number 1 in no time.

As for the others. Should Roddick squeeze his way past Ferrero, and in-form Mathieu should take him out. Mathieu will probably play Nadal, own him in the first set, barely lose the second, and get rocked in the third. Should Gasquet get through the 2 russians (Tursunov and Andreev) he will lose to Djokovic.

Now Djokovic has a very tough draw, he faces Youzhny and/or Santoro. Both have good records against him. But like I said, this is the type of tournament Djokovic wants to win, and I believe when he doesn’t let his injuries and ailments get in the way, he can beat anyone. So I pick him to take home the winner’s trophy. Can’t wait for it to start.

Skorocel Says:

To sensationalsafin:

Overhyped Murray to beat Fed? Ha ha, the Swiss will give him a kicking – write that down :) There’s nothing sweeter for him than a revenge… The other thing is that, apart from Murray, there’s no one to really worry about for Fed in his part of the draw, so he’ll be all that more focused on this match…

sensationalsafin Says:

I just don’t think Murray’s the type of player Federer can make an easy return against. Last year he won in three sets in the first round against a guy who’s name escapes me at the moment. It was because he lacked match play. This year he’s played 6 matches. He sucked in 4 of them, lost in straight sets in 1, and has barely practiced in the last month. Murray, on the other hand, is definetly eager to get another win off Federer, plus he’s got 2 titles to his name this year. I could be wrong, I’d gladly be wrong, but I think Murray will win.

alternative deb Says:

I’ve heard this as well about Federer:-

‘has barely practiced in the last month.’

You sound very sure about it do you have evidence to back up your statement?

joe Says:


You clearly have no idea what your talking about. How can anybody believe that Fed has “barely practised” the last month. The man has been number 1 the last four years, I am confident he will be well prepared for Dubai, he isnt a fool, he knows exactly what he is doing. I think he will be looking forward to playing Murray(who I think is overhyped, anyone who watches tennis on skysports will know how much they over egzagerate his talent and ability). Federer will be dying to get some more match wins and I’m confident that that fact alone will help him take home the winners trophy.

I do agree about the draw, its absoloutly fantastic isnt it?
I’m hoping for a good old Fed v Nadal final! Been way too long since we have seen one

sensationalsafin Says:

Maybe you guys are underestimating Murray’s abilities.

angel Says:

to sensationalsafin
Maybe you just can’t stand Federer being number 1 anymore.

Tam Says:

If tennis-x needs to troll for comments again then why not write an article explaining how Federer went from being a nice shy quiet Swiss boy into a greedy, arrogant, vain, shallow, effeminate, image- and money-obssessed celebrity brownnoser?

Larry Says:

Turning to IMG instead of leaving Mirka to manage his career started the slide Tam referenced. Maybe slightly exaggerated, but he’s definitely on the road to becoming a greedy, arrogant, and vain celebrity a**kisser. The $800 Sally Hershberger haircut struck me as vain, not effeminate .

Colin Says:

It must be nice to live in Dubai, as oil means money, eh? What percentage of the population do you suppose actually HAS that money?

FoT Says:

Sensationalsafin you said in one of your post that Roger has barely practice? This was taken from a report by Doug Robinson who is in Dubai right now:

“At the over-the-top player party the other night, which featured live music, a magician and falconry, I caught up with IMG’s Tony Godsick. Godsick is one of the sport’s uber agents, whose roster of clients includes the recently retired Monica Seles, Lindsay Davenport, and of course the big kahuna, Roger Federer. Godsick is a smart and accessible guy and, as far as I can tell, a straight shooter, which in his line of work is saying a lot. Among the variety of good tidbits Tony passed along was that Roger has been working particularly hard these past couple of weeks in Dubai. As most know by now, Federer owns a place here and actually spends more time in the UAE now than he does in his native Switzerland. Godsick said Roger lost some valuable preparation time with the stomach virus he carried into the Australian Open. He even said that his semifinal loss to eventual champ Novak Djokovic was, under the circumstances, an excellent result.”

Seems like he has really been working hard in Dubai getting ready. I also read from his ‘hitting partner’s blog at how hard they have been working. Practices for 2-4 hours straight at a time 2 to 3 times a day. So don’t know where you’re getting your information?

sensationalsafin Says:

Angel, don’t put words in my mouth. I never said I didn’t want Federer to be number 1, I just don’t think he will be. Big difference. Nothing would make me happier than him proving me wrong, but like I said, that’s my prediction. If I’m wrong and Federer wins, beats Murray, and maybe even Djokovic or Nadal in the final, then great. That’s fantastic, I just don’t forsee it.

Sean Randall Says:

sensationalsafin, Murray certainly has a chance to beat Roger, but I don’t think it happens in the first round at Dubai. Rog isn’t going to want to lose in his backyard, his house in the first round.

If the match was a quarterfinal or beyond, I’d give Murray a better chance, just not in this situation.

As for practicing, I’m sure Roger’s in great shape, what kind of match shape he’s in is TBD.

Zola Says:

I think Roger will win too. It is true he has not played tournaments, but doesn’t mean he has not practiced. He is usually rusty in the beginning of a tournament, but he is also rested and he is hungry and motivated because this is a very important match. One that can bring him into the 2008 race or throw him out and I bet he won’t give it away.

I think Fed will play Dubai with doubla the motivation. I want Rafa to win the whole thing, but his draw is extra tough.

polo Says:

Dubai’s main source of revenue is from trade and financial services, not oil. Oil accounts for only 6% of its total revenue. Seeing that you started with an erroneous statement, I did not think the rest of it will be credible so I did not read further.

naresh Says:

hey Sean, Dubai used to have oil, but that was like 20yrs ago, now it’s more like, rich peoples hangout{ if you can call it that !} it’s definitely the most ‘liberal’ of the middle eastern cities and so there’s been a lot international attraction to the place, resulting in most internatinal dealings for the middle east taking place in dubai.

Sean Randall Says:

I Found a link to live streaming from Dubai:

I can’t vouch for its reliablity or for how much of the tournament will be available, but give it a go.

As for the Dubai comments, from the World CIA Factbook on the UAE, “Despite largely successful efforts at economic diversification, nearly 40% of GDP is still directly based on oil and gas output.”

And from the U.S. Energy Administration, “According to Oil & Gas Journal(OGJ), the UAE’s proven oil reserves were 97.6 billion barrels as of January 1, 2007. Abu Dhabi leads the other emirates with 92.2 billion barrels followed by Dubai with 4 billion barrels… The UAE oil reserves account for 8.5 percent of total world reserves … ”

Draw from it what you will, enjoy the matches everyone.

polo Says:

Just a brief comment on Dubabi which will be the last because this is a tennis blog. Dubai is only one of the seven states that make up the UAE. As you have pointed out, it’s oil contribution is only 4 billion barrels while the Abu Dhabi has 92.2 billion.

Now back to tennis.

polo Says:

Dubabi should be Dubai. But you all got it, am sure.

Daniel Says:

Seems my fears were true, Fed just lost!

polo Says:

It appears that Federer is now beginning his inevitable march away from his glorious days. He has been so good for so long that he may have become overconfident in the recent days. He talks too much about breaking records and being recognized as best ever instead of simply concentrating on the game itself. He should focus only on the game. The records should take care of itself.

polo Says:

With Andy Murray’s win over Federer in Dubai, critics should probably give him more credit for his first win over Federer in Cincinnati when Fed’s loss was attributed to jet-lag and fatigue. He has proven without doubt that he has the ability to beat Roger even when he is well rested. Or maybe some will say Roger loss due to lack of practice.

jabberwocky Says:

hahaha Federer lost!
the King is Dead Long live the King!
so happy with this result

rogers twin sister Says:

Polo: When Federer was asked last year who, other than Nadal, he felt could beat him, he responded, “Djokovic and Murray.”

Sean Randall Says:

sensationalsafin, sensational pick on Federer. I didn’t think that Murray would beat him in this situtation – First round at Dubai – but I’m dead wrong.

I was unable to watch the match, so I’ll be very interested to hear what Fed says about the loss.

Polo, hard to argue with you. Two match losing streak heading into IW and Miami, and if Fed doesn’t start go deep in both events I think he can kiss No. 1 goodbye at some point this year, maybe even next month.

Sean Randall Says:

FoT, just who are these guys Fed’s hitting with? Again, one thing to bit fit, another thing to be match fit. Fed might be hitting for six hours a day, but if he’s hitting with his mother (no offense to his mom, maybe she’s a terrific tennis player), that’s not going to help him against top quality opponents.

Skorocel Says:

Well, hats off to sensationalsafin and his precise, if not quite pleasant prediction! Though Fed didn’t play all that bad today, he just lost – and that’s quite worrying for him… On the other hand, Murray (as I’ve expected) didn’t play anything extraordinary, but the fact is that he won the match… It may sound as a whining, but I just can’t see anything extraordinary on the Briton’s game… Anyway, he won the match – and he won it DESERVEDLY!

1st set: Fed didn’t get any chance to break the Briton – simply because Murray was serving really well throughout the whole set. So it went to a breaker, in which Fed maybe got a bit lucky in the end. To be honest, it could’ve gone either way…

2nd set: Fed could make use of the momentum gained by winning that tight 1st set, but instead, he just slept through the first 3-4 games, and one pretty sloppy game on his serve was enough to give the set to the Briton.

3rd set: Clearly, the match deciding moment came in the 2nd game (Murray serving), where Fed was 30-0 up and the Briton had to play the following rally only through his 2nd serve. But instead of taking the opportunity, Fed produced 2 super-easy unforced errors from the baseline (one from FH and one from BH) – and that was it for the Swiss… What a poor play from him! Then finally in the game where he got broken (at 0-30), he didn’t put an relatively easy smash where it should’ve been put, and instead of 15-30 it was 0-40… That was the last nail to Fed’s coffin in this match…

So summed it up, even though Fed didn’t play all that bad (same as in that AO semi vs Djoker), he still lost the match – and that’s quite worrying for him… Some may say he didn’t have any match-practice, but then again, he didn’t have any last year as well (actually, he didn’t play any tourney between AO and Dubai for 3rd consecutive year, if I remember)… As for that food poisoning, it must be a history now, so there’s really no excuse for his loss today…

Von Says:

I mentioned on the Ruthless Roddick thread on Saturday that Federer could lose in the first round. It’s no surprise. I don’t think that Godsig would be a good source of credible information with respect to Federer’s practising. I agree with Sean that practise is not the same as match play. Fed was in the US on quite a few occasions after the AO.

jane Says:

I didn’t see the Fed v. Murray match; stupid TSN (via ESPN) is no longer airing the MS matches. Think I’ll have to spring for Tennis Channel or something.

Can anyone add some insight? I’m not totally surprised Fed was upset, as first round matches are always dangerous, and against the talented Brit I thought it’d be a tough battle for Fed. On the other hand, like Sean, I thought the “home turf” might be an advantage. Anyhow, I am happy. I’ve always liked Murray and have always thought he has great talent. This also redeems the 1st round Tsonga loss, to a degree anyhow.

I don’t know who’ll win here but certainly Murray has a shot, as do some of the other top 10ers. Heard Djoker’s press conference and he says he’s healthy. But I wonder where Nalby is? I think he could be a real contender at the French this year, if he “shows” up (he reminds me a bit of Brando in ‘On the Waterfront’ only I don’t think he can blame is inconsistency on the mob- haha).

polo Says:

To Jane: I subscribed to Tennis Channel (TC)but it has been a big disappointment so far. All they show are a bunch of replays of old tournaments. And when they do something current, it is also carried on other channel anyway like ESPN. Why don’t they look at Golf Channel’s format and learn pointers from in. Until TC gets better, I would not recommend subscribing to it. I am going to have mine cancelled.

Von Says:


Tennis channel has its advantages and disadvantages and what you state is true. However, they show the current WTA semi and final matches and some ATP semi and final matches. For the price they’re not too bad. They will carry the Sampras/Federer exhibition match, that in itself is worth the extra $4-$8 per month. I’d say keep it. They’ll get better.

Daniel Says:


Nalby played two tournaments in South American going to the finals in both, so I think he chooses to pass this one.

I’ve always felted that if Nalbandian was in Nadal’s draw at the French, the Spaniard wouldn’t have those 3 titles. I hope this year they meet in the quarter finals, or earlier in a clay MS.

Zola Says:

hi everyone,
you can watch dubai on : ( the same link that sean mentioned)

or goto: and find the logo for Dubai. they show it from eurospoort and another source

well, I expected Fed to win, but I also knew that he would be rusty after 3 months of no play. However, Murray played a really good and confident game. I don’t think Fed had even one break point. The mental aspect of Andy’s game was interesting. No ranting and even after he lost the first set, he did not lose his composure. I think apart from his huge serve, his mentla fortitude is now his new weapon.

For Fed and his fans, must be tough, but from now on Fed has only points to win, where Rafa and Djoker have zillions of points to defend in IW and Miami and for Rafa during the clay season.

I hope Rafa can win tomorrow. Not an easy match against Kohl.

Zola Says:

Somehow my comment was eaten! If it shows up, please accept my apologies for double posting.

first of all, great to see you “Jane”. You have to tell us why you did not post these past weeks.

I watched the match on channelsurfing and recommend it to all:

scroll down and find links to Dubai.

About Fed’s match. Andy played much better than I expected. Federer played well, but on many occasions his shots were long. He probably needed at least one match to find his range there.
Still, he has 80 pts altogether to defend in IW and Miami and can zoom ahead with 1000 points again.

Andy was very calm, even when he lost the first set. I think that was the key. He also served very wel. Fed had no break points against him.
Now, I am hoping that Rafa can win tomorrow against Kohl…
btw, Santoro won Youzhny and I missed that match! I can’t believe it.
Tomorrow my other favorite ( Monfils) is playing against Berdych. Let’s see if he can get to the second round without injuring himself.

Zola Says:

it did show up!
I have typed in my first comment. the correct address is

jane Says:

Thanks for the links Zola.

I hope Rafa wins too, but I admit that I wouldn’t mind seeing Roddick play Kohl again – this time Roddick getting the W.

A Rafa v. Roddick match is something to hope for @ Dubai, though, since we didn’t get it at AO.

jane Says:

“You have to tell us why you did not post these past weeks”

I was both busy and needed a break from it all; things were a bit too “heavy” at this blog. In addition, I had mentioned after the AO that I would wait until Dubai to comment further as I had anticipated that this would be an interesting tourney (with the field it attracts, it’s kind of like a min-major now, similar to IW & Miami).

Go Maria Says:

SensationalSafin! You are my hero! Murray beat Roger today in Dubai the 1st round in three sets. Just liked how you predicted….

For those who thought SensationalSafin was crazy… now,let’s go eat your humble pie!

Zola Says:

Glad to have you back here. This is a very interesting tournament indeed. It was insane to have the No 1 face No 12 in the first round. Then, there are some first round matches where a wild card is facing a qualifier!

xeroninus Says:

Hmmmmm, if mine calculation is wright FED will loose 300 atp points considering that he won the tournament last year and now he lost in the first round. Wright? So 6330 -300 = 6030 points
On the other hand if RAFA gets to finals he’ll gain 135 points considering his QF lost last year and that would mean that RAFA could become number 1 next monday if I am wright… Not sure about this, please correct me if I’m wrong.
Although if DJOKER is in good form, I don’t think that RAFA could pass that obstacle in semis. I think that DJOKER’s match tomorrow will be the crucial one. It will tell us a lot about RAFA’a chances to become NO. 1 (of course if RAFA is able to reach semis at all)

Mia Says:


Congrats!!! Maybe you should have your own blog here.

Zola Says:

the ATP points are posted with Dubai points being taken out ( because it is one week later than lst week). So Fed will stay at 6330pts and whatever Rafa wins, will replace his 25 points from Rotterdam.
Even if he wins the whole tournament, Fed will still be No 1.

After that they will head to IW and Miami. Fed has 80 points to defend. Rafa has 725 or 750 and Djoker has 850 points to defend So , it is very favorable for Fed. I don’t see any immediate danger of losing No 1 for Fed.

Zola Says:

sorry , I meant, Dubai this year is one week later than last “year ” ( not week)

Sean Randall Says:

Anyone think Darren Cahill might be getting a call in the next week or so?

Daniel Says:


Fed’s 300 points was already taken, last week he was 6630.
The same with Nadal and Djoko and everybody else.

Fed will only loose his n° 1 spot if he looses earlier in several tourneys in the clay season. He has 80 pts to “defend” in IW and Miami, where Nadal has 625 and Djoko 850 over 1000.

So until Monte Carlo, where Fed was a finalist (350 pts) last year, he has nothing to worry about. Unless Nadal wins Dubai, defend his 500 in IW, wins Miami and Fed loses earlier in both IW and Miami. What, let’s face it, is highly unlikely!

Sean Randall Says:

With respect to No. 1, I don’t see right now how Fed’s going to manage to get back to the finals at the French. So if Rafa again wins there my bet is that’s when we’ll finally see it change hands. Lots can happen between now and then, and it could happen earlier, but that’d be my pick.

Daniel Says:


Somehow my post looks redundant. Zola posted while I was writing it.

rafafan Says:

fed i dnt htink will lose NO1 before us open series if at all

Von Says:

Federer unsure over Olympics participation
Sun 02 Mar, 03:51 PM

DUBAI (AFP) – Roger Federer, who has always previously said that an Olympic gold medal is one of his biggest goals, has cast doubt on whether he would play in the Beijing Olympic Games in August.

Federer was a little disillusioned with his experience at the Athens four years ago where he lost early on to Tomas Berdych and feels that some of the shortcomings of those Games might be repeated in China.

The world No.1 from Switzerland said he felt that there were several difficulties, apart from the breeze, and he would like to consider avoiding a repeat.

“It was quite difficult in Athens,” Federer said. “Taking the bus and not being in control of my own schedule, and many people recognising me in the village.

“It was not as enjoyable as Sydney, which I loved. I still have not made up my mind (whether to play in Beijing),” he added, perhaps concerned as to whether there would be traffic and commuting problems for visiting athletes.

Asked about the inconvenience of being so often recognised, Federer elaborated by saying: “Every time I go to eat everyone taps on your shoulder. I don’t mind it but I wish it was different one day of the week.”

Avoiding recognition is also one of the reasons why he makes Dubai his training base, Federer admitted.

It is an arrangement which may help him deal with the rare situation in which he find himself this week.

The world’s best player finds himself playing one of the world’s most up-and-coming players, Andy Murray in the first round of the Dubai Open – a situation which could only happen here in this very unusual tournament.

That is because the record appearance money gives it an entry similar to the top half of a Master Series, or top quarter of a Grand Slam. But it is a third level tournament’s 32 draw with only eight seeds.

Murray, the world number 12 from Scotland, is therefore likely to be a tougher first test than Federer will get anywhere, especially as he has not competed since being beaten by Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals of the Australian Open more than six weeks ago.

“I am happy to be back playing again because I have been away from the tour and it’s not easy. This is only my second tournament in four months.

“But I am back stronger and healthier than I was in Australia. Hopefully this time I will feel better.”

This was as close as Federer got to admitting that his performances in Melbourne might have been affected by having been ill, as had been rumoured, though when asked about this directly he deflected it.

“I just felt slow in the semi-final,” he said. “I really doubt that it was because of the Tipsarevic match (a hard five sets) because I was feeling like that against Berdych.

“By the Djokovic match I was completely fine again. I just wasn’t happy with my movement and defensive skills. Maybe it (losing) was because of that. Djokovic played well on the big points.”

Federer also has to consider that the last time he played Murray, 19 months ago in the Masters Series in Cincinnati, he lost. Federer was below par then too, but Murray took his chance exceedingly well.

“I have definitely improved since then no question about that,” said the 20-year-old Murray.

“He didn’t play his best match then. But I have a good game and can cause problems. It’s important to do well.”

Asked if Federer’s lack of match play would work in his (Murray’s) favour, he replied: “He’s not played since Australia but he’s played here and won four times and made the final once so I don’t think it makes much difference to him.

“He’s beaten much better players than me and had better matches, but for him this is an important match too, so we will see how my game matches up against the best in the world.

“And when I come off the match court I will have a lot to work on after a match like this.”

Murray’s credentials were given a boost when Rafael Nadal, the second seed in the other half, said: “Andy has the potential to be one, two or three in the world, so for sure he can beat Roger.”

If Nadal gets the semi-final he should, it will be an encounter with Djokovic, who has been trying to recover from sickness much of the time since his life-changing triumph in Australia.

“Unfortunately every time I come back from a long trip and back to a different climate, it happens,” he said. “Unfortunately I am a little sensitive, tiny and not a strong organism.

“But I am trying to recover as much as possible. I get sick so often I’m surprised when I am healthy – no I am joking.”

The world number three from Serbia plays Marin Cilic, the world number 45 from Croatia, in the first round.

Bob22 Says:

Fed. had again chicken for dinner :(

Sean Randall Says:

Some match reports:

This time there was no such explanation, though Federer is short of match play, and when the match got tight was not able to unleash his customary ability to produce overwhelming tennis.

“It was nothing to do with his game,” insisted Federer.

“It was a tricky game for both of us. One of the big guys had to go out.

“It’s difficult but it could have been worse. It wasn’t a bad match but that’s the only positive I can take from tonight.

“I thought I was missing forehands by two or three metres. That’s awful. You have it lined up and suddenly it’s out which comes as a shock.”

“I don’t know if it was my game style which won the match,” he said.

“I think it was my mentality.

“I went on court thinking I could win, as I always have against him, and that was the key.”


And Fed taking a blast at Murray:
“I don’t think he has changed his game a whole lot since the first time I played him and I really thought he would have done,” said Federer who maintained his defeat had nothing really to do with Murray’s game. “He is going to have to grind it very hard in the next few years if he is going to play this way.”

When asked to be elaborate, Federer continued: “He stands way behind the court. You have to do a lot of running and he tends to wait for the mistakes of his opponent. I gave him the mistakes today but overall in a 15-year career you want to look to win a point more often rather than wait for the other guy to miss. Who knows he might surprise us all.”

polo Says:

To Von,

OK. I will hold off my plan to cancel my Tennis Channel subscription for maybe another six months. That’s ample enough time for them to show me some improvement.

Zola Says:

***When asked to be elaborate, Federer continued: “He stands way behind the court. You have to do a lot of running and he tends to wait for the mistakes of his opponent. I gave him the mistakes today but overall in a 15-year career you want to look to win a point more often rather than wait for the other guy to miss. Who knows he might surprise us all.”


Now, that was not very nice!

just asking Says:

Where’s that blog you promised Sean?

Why do you keep deleting my posts?

What are you afraid of Seanboy?

Sean Randall Says:

justasking (and your many other screen names), what’s your point? I delete your posts because I have taken many rips at Roger in the past and I’ll certainly take many more at him in the future. If you had taken the time to read my prior posts you would know that.

Von Says:

“polo Says:
To Von,

OK. I will hold off my plan to cancel my Tennis Channel subscription for maybe another six months. That’s ample enough time for them to show me some improvement.”

I think you’ll see some improvements. Their problem is lack of sponsors and money. Six months is a fair enough time to reassess their progress. If you can watch on the weekends you’ll see some good semi and final WTA matches. Their TV guide is misleading regarding these tournaments. You’ll just have to check the “Tennis” listings on the guide to see which one is being broadcasted. Good luck.

jane Says:

In response to Sean’s match reports:

Here’s Murray’s response:

Murray was surprised by Federer’s comments.

“You do different things against different players.” said the Scot.

“You go and watch my match against Rafael Nadal at the (2007) Australian Open, and I was playing pretty close to the baseline in that match and taking a lot of risks because I think that’s the right way to play against him,” said Murray referring to his five-set defeat by the Spaniard.

“Against Federer I don’t think that’s the right way to play. I’m not going to play that sort of game against someone that defends as well as Federer does.”

He also hit back by highlighting the improvements he has made to his game.

“My serve is clearly much better than it was two years ago,” he said. “I feel quicker and stronger around the court. Mentally I feel like I’m better.

“But there are still some things in my game that I want to improve and it does take some time to put them into the match court. I feel like I’ve started to do that this year.”


Zola Says:

thanks Jane.
I think compared to two years ago, Murray’s serve has improved a lot. He is much more comfortable around the net and he is mentally stronger.

Andy was very respectful in his post match interview. Federer didn’t have even one break point against Andy. I find this response a bit childish. He needs to accept his defeats with more grace.

Mia Says:

Federer did talk about the same about Djokovic and look where it got him. It is as if he gave Djokovic a strong desire just to prove him wrong calling his loss in Montreal insignificant and now he is doing the same thing to Murray. It could as well backfire.Federer will have more problems with any player with self belief. In the past he was ahead already before even coming on court now many players will see he is beatable.

polo Says:

Federer may have been reading too much all the superlative press reports about how superior he is that he has now started to think that he is really unbeatable and that when he somebody does succeed, it was because Federer had a bad day, i.e, illness, lack of practice, or any other excuse. He has not been very gracious in his comments to whoever beats him which to me seems both unsportsmanlike and unrealistic. Before it gets too late, he should not be too complacent about his loses. He should realize that all these young guys are getting better and at the same time, he is getting older. What is he doing picking up young boys and taking them to play with in Dubai? It is time to get serious once more.

Skorocel Says:

Why all the fuss about Fed’s post-match comments? Surely, he could’ve said it more politely, but at least he told the TRUTH… Really, did Murray improve that much since their Cincy 2006 encounter? I doubt it… It’s the same overhyped Murray of old! Surely, his serve improved a lot (zero breakpoint chances for Fed only proves this), but apart from that, he’s virtually waited the whole match for Fed to miss (unlike Djoker, who in my opinion played pretty aggressive throughout their whole AO 2008 semifinal encounter)… Even that one article which Sean Randall posted a link to says something like: „Murray played cautiously“, so why the fuss? The truth is the outcome of the match was mostly in Fed’s hands – like it or not. He could’ve won it had he converted that opportunity in the beginning of the 3rd set, but that’s coulda, shoulda, woulda, of course… Instead of stepping on the gas, he produced 2 sh.tty unforced errors from the baseline – and that was it…

But anyway, can I blame Murray for winning this match in “this” particular way (i.e. by waiting for Fed to miss)? Of course I can’t! He won the match DESERVEDLY, and if there was someone to blame, it would be only Fed!

Daniel Says:

You said all that I am thinking Skorocel, except for the Murray over hyped part. I am still waiting for him to DO IT in a Slam. So let’s see.
And Fed have lost this year for two players who have the best all around game in the tour, Fed aside.

Mike Says:

FOT said:
“Seems like he has really been working hard in Dubai getting ready. I also read from his ‘hitting partner’s blog at how hard they have been working. Practices for 2-4 hours straight at a time 2 to 3 times a day. So don’t know where you’re getting your information? ”

Just curious, who is the hitting partner and what’s the blog? I wouldn’t mind reading it :D


Zola Says:

is there a link to the whole Federer press conference?

xeroninus Says:

To Zola and Daniel:

Thanks! You are wright. I was wondering what happened with that “lack” of points but didn’t realize that it was because of the tournament not being scheduled to start at the same time as last year!

Fruitcake Says:

Doubt that Murray will be voting for Fed in the ATP Sportsmanship of the Year Award!!

zoe Says:

Why is it that every country except the USA is televising the Dubai tournament? ALL the top players are there—the draws are all fantastic right from the first round—so fun it would be to watch. No wonder Americans do not get into tennis like other countries…when our networks (including the tennis channel) can not be bothered to televise it.

Zola Says:

you can watch the matches if you have a fast internet connection.
if you are in europe goto : and find ATP tour and then dubai. there has to be a link to “live matches”

you can also use this link:

scroll down and find links to dubai. they are usually good quality.

Zola Says:

Rafa-Roddick in less than an hour….no nails left! I hope Rafa cn win this one…very tough match!

Top story: Federer, Djokovic In Same Half Of US Open Draw; Nadal With Thiem