A month ago the Dubai tennis event looked like it had another incredible field of players. A week ago, even after Andy Roddick, Juan Martin Del Potro and even Rafael Nadal all decided not to play, the event still looked strong with Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Nikolay Davydenko.
But now, following Federer’s withdrawal and upsets to Murray, Davydenko, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga yesterday and today Marin Cilic, there’s really not much zip left to the tournament. Money doesn’t always buy happiness!
Yesterday, Dayvdenko retired with a left wrist problem, Murray, who was using Dubai as a practice event, was stunned by Janko Tipsarevic in three sets and Tsonga was blown out by Ivan Ljubicic. That left us today with a subpar quarterfinals lineup including Jurgen Melzer v. Cilic (Melzer already won); Tisparevic v. Mikhail Youhzny (Youzhny won); Ljubicic v. Djokovic and Marcos Baghdatis v. Michael Berrer.
Not quite the quarterfinal field the big money tournament was hoping/paying for – with just one Top 8 player left – just a month ago, but that’s what injuries, bad timing and bad luck will do.
All destruction should help Djokovic who has a clear path to defend his 2009 title. With Cilic now out Novak shouldn’t have much resistance walking away with this title.
One could make a case that the more compelling tennis ahead of us comes from Acapulco where an assortment of clay courters have gathered including six of the Top 8 seeds and four Spaniards. And they have some good matches today with top man Fernando Verdasco rumbling with Juan Monaco and the resurgent Juan Carlos Ferrero battling two-time champ Nicolas Almagro. Fernando Gonzalez and David Ferrer (Ferrer was a finalist in Dubai last year) are also playing as is Venus Williams in the WTA draw.
And thanks to some rain in South Florida, Delray Beach boasts a full schedule with just about everyone on the court Thursday including James Blake, Mardy Fish, Ivo Karlovic, Jeremy Chardy and Ernests Gulbis. Blake playing the young Dutchman Robin Haase in one of the better matches today.
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