Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic will be featured in a rare nighttime double header Wednesday in the desert of Dubai. After being extended to three sets by Malek Jaziri, Federer faces Marcel Granollers in the second round.
Djokovic, a brisk winner today over countryman Viktor Troicki, also meets a Spaniard in Roberto Bautista Agut.
“That was a great match, especially in the first set, considering the fact I haven’t played an official tournament for three, four weeks,” said Djokovic following his first match since the Australian Open. “I wanted to be extra focused on the court today, because I also knew he has a big serve, as he had proven tonight, and can be very dangerous on these courts. This is one of the fastest hard courts on the tour that I have experienced outdoors. So you need to be really committed to every point and play well.”
Juan Martin Del Potro advanced but it wasn’t as easy. The Argentine saved three matchpoints in a 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(4) thriller over Marcos Baghdatis.
“He’s a great player,” said Del Potro. “He fights like me every point, and we had fantastic rallies. I’m so glad to beat him tonight in Dubai. I played fantastic forehands to keep playing this match. Then in the end, of course, you need a little bit of luck to win these kinds of matches, and I think I played solid on important points in the third.”
Upsets though hit the tournament as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga fell to countryman Michael Llodra and Janko Tipsarevic was bounced by Nikolay Davydenko. An illness also claimed Bernard Tomic as he retired early in his match.
“I was in France yesterday. I just arrived. It was tough to have a good reaction,” reflected Tsonga who just won Marseille indoors on Sunday. “I cannot play properly with Michael because he’s playing everything in two, three shots. So you don’t have time really to get a good rhythm. When you’re not so good physically, it’s tough to have a very good precision and to react really fast.”
In Mexico, Rafael Nadal continued his comeback with a rousing win over Argentine qualifier Diego Sebastian Schwartzman 6-2, 6-2. He’ll face yet another Argentine qualifier, Martin Alund, in a rematch of their 3-set Sao Paulo match. Nadal’s countrymen David Ferrer and Nicolas Almagro, who picked up his 300th career victory, were also winners. No. 4 seed Stanislas Wawrinka was upset by Fabio Fognini.
CENTRE COURT start 2:00 pm
T Kamke (GER) vs  T Berdych (CZE)
Not Before 4:00 PM
 J Del Potro (ARG) vs [PR] S Devvarman (IND)
Not Before 7:00 PM
M Granollers (ESP) vs  R Federer (SUI)
 N Djokovic (SRB) vs R Bautista Agut (ESP)
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