The Dubai draw has been released and among the highlights of a tournament that features six of the Top 10: Roger Federer and Andy Murray are slated to meet in the top half semifinals; Novak Djokovic and Nikolay Davydenko are pitted to meet in the bottom half semi; and Gilles Simon opens against Marcos Baghdatis.
The projected quarterfinal pairings shape up this way: No. 1 Federer v. Cilic, No. 3 Murray v. Youhzny, Simon v. No. 4 Davydenko and Tsonga v. No. 2 Djokovic.
Federer opens against Julien Benneteau who him in Paris indoors last fall.
The event which begins on Monday does not include Andy Roddick who was schedule to play. Last night in Memphis Roddick was dropped by Sam Querrey in three sets. Roddick had beaten Querrey in a third-set tiebreak in San Jose a week ago but this time it was Sam returning the favor.
“It was disappointing,” Roddick said. “I felt like it was the opposite of Sam’s and my match of last week (San Jose). I felt like I had the better end of the first two sets and [yet] we were even. I felt like I was hitting the ball a little better, giving myself more chances in return games.”
There was no official reason for Roddick’s withdrawal that I could find – his official website still lists Dubai on the schedule – but I wouldn’t rule out that shoulder problem he had in Australia. Roddick’s also played a lot of tennis this year, so a trip to Dubai then back to play to big events in Indian Wells and Miami would have to take a physical toll.
Also in Memphis, John Isner won the Battle of Big Men taking down Ivo Karlovic, Phil Petzschner is next for the 6-foot-9 Georgian. And we have an Ernests Gulbis sighting! The underperforming Latvian beat Tomas Berdcyh to advance to a showdown with Sam later today in the semifinals.
The Dubai women’s final today features Venus Williams and Victoria Azarenka. Maria Sharapova has reached a Memphis final where she’ll play Sofia Arvdisson.
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