Roddick Rallies In Delray, Avoids Third Straight Loss; Djokovic, Federer, Murray Return In Dubai
Andy Roddick rallied from a set down to defeat Philipp Petzschner in the first round at Delray Beach Tuesday night winning eight of the last nine games to coast to victory 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.
Roddick, who’s been hampered by a bad hamstring and and ankle, had lost his last two matches coming into the match after falling to Denis Istomin in San Jose second round and Xavier Malisse in first round at Memphis last week.
Now ranked 30, Roddick could return to the Top 20 by winning a first Delray Beach title.
American No. 2 John Isner was also a winner on Tuesday, beating countryman Jesse Levine 6-4, 7-6, 17-15 in the second set tiebreak. The 26-year-old Isner is 9-1 this season in tiebreaks.
“It was a long one,” Isner said of the breaker. “If I had lost that second set, I didn’t really fancy my chances in the third because the humidity was really getting to me. So I’m very lucky to advance. I sort of feel like I’m playing with house money now.”
Playing his first match in nearly two months because of a left knee injury, second-seeded Marin Cilic lost to Jarkko Nieminen.
“My first match in a while and it felt a little bit awkward, I would say,” Cilic said. “I played some moments pretty good, but I think on a consistent level, not great, but I was expecting that might happen. And Nieminen, he’s a scrappy player, a lefty, and we had some wind during our match, so conditions were not as easy as I’m used to from playing indoor in Europe and in practice.”
Third-seed Viktor Troicki also was a victim losing to Steve Darcis. And American qualifier Tim Smyczek upset Memphis champion Jurgen Melzer.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic will try to keep his 2012 record clean in Dubai against Sergei Stakhovsky. The 24-year-old Djokovic has won 16 straight matches and the last three titles in Dubai, and after his third Australian Open title he’s 8-0 on the year.
“I’m not really comparing 2012 with 2011,” Djokovic said Monday. “I’m not comparing any year with another year, because I think year is different. I want to have this positive mindset on the court that is going to kind of keep me away from unnecessary pressure that I already have as No. 1 in the world and as a top player, somebody that’s expected to win in most of the matches.”
Roger Federer will play his second straight lefty on Wednesday. The four-time Dubai champ dispatched Michael Llodra in his opener, now in the second round he meets Feliciano Lopez. The Swiss is a perfect 9-0 lifetime against Lopez.
Struggling with an illness, Andy Murray survived in three sets over Michael Berrer to set up a second round clash with Marco Chiudinelli.
“At the start of the match I didn’t feel great,” said Murray on Tuesday. “It was one of those strange sets. It was quite a frustrating match because I was up a break twice in the second set, and each time I think gave it straight back. I could have made it a little bit easier for myself if I played a bit better.”
Juan Martin Del Potro, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Tomas Berdych were also winners. Eight of the Top 10 men are playing in Dubai this week.
CENTRE COURT start 2:00 pm
 A Murray (GBR) vs [Q] M Chiudinelli (SUI) – ATP
Not Before 4:00 PM
 N Djokovic (SRB) vs S Stakhovsky (UKR) – ATP
Not Before 7:00 PM
F Lopez (ESP) vs  R Federer (SUI) – ATP
L Rosol (CZE) vs  J Tsonga (FRA) – ATP
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