Possible Federer v. Murray SF in Dubai; Roddick Withdraws
by Sean Randall | February 20th, 2010, 8:58 am

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. ADHEREL

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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70 Comments for Possible Federer v. Murray SF in Dubai; Roddick Withdraws

Kimmi Says:

Federer played cilic before but a long time ago, would like to see that rematch again, especially now with cilic improvement could be a very good match.

Duro, I was hoping for Murray v Djoko but they are on the opposite side again, big chance one of them won’t reach the final but we will see.

Great tennis to come – excited

tennisfan#1 Says:

I suspect Federer will pace himself from this tournament until Rolland Garros where he will defend his title. Roger will probably make the semis of most tournaments, but will not go to the extra gear until the Masters 1000 event right before Rolland Garros. These smaller events are the best chance for the younger guys to beat Federer because they aint gonna do it at a Slam. My prediction for Dubai.

Murray def. Federer
Djokovic def. Davydenko
Djokovic def. Murray

Kimmi Says:

contador: benneteau v tsonga right now in marseille. Poor benneteau, he was serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set and then choked…too many choking in this sport, it seem to be difficult. Now Tsonga has a new life..his legs seem to have a lot of spring but they are on serve, still game on here…

Do you think this benneteau can still cause another upset in Dubai (he meets federer in Rd 1)?

Kimmi Says:

After that disappointing loss of the second set, benneteau still kept the nerves intact and take the third set to the tiebreak. very close now, who will win this?

Kimmi Says:

Benneteau great tiebreak so far 6-1..5 match points wow!

dc Says:

I think Fed will not let Murray win over him in these smaller tournaments anymore. He wants to clear out his h2h record against Murray, else Murray will be bragging forever that he beat Fed more often than not. I think Murray’s comments in early 2009 about him being in Fed’s head really pissed off Fed and after that Murray has never beaten Fed.

Kimmi Says:

There it is! an upset…benneteau beats Tsonga, he showed real character and finish the job. Great win!

madmax Says:

Wow! everyone, federer’s draw in dubai is tough. but good practice for him with lots of great players.

and benneteau, well kimmi, he is on a roll! I have seen a lot of players (who may be have been under the spotlight for one reason or another), I know that Isner has been around a while, but he has improved, cilic has improved immensely, and is really coming on – benneteau for one, then Ernst Gulbis, into his – is it First? semi final?

Exciting times ahead, that’s for sure.

Am sure murray will want revenge now for AO, but like tennisfan1 said, I feel Roger will pace himself – I would still expect him to play some great tennis though.

Does anyone know what has happened to Ancic?

Am really sad to see roddick withdraw, he has played some brilliant tennis already this year – so probably resting up is a wise decision. The homecrowd will be behind him once the hardcourt season starts in Miami – that’s for sure!

Kimmi Says:

madmax: “Am really sad to see roddick withdraw, he has played some brilliant tennis already this year – so probably resting up is a wise decision”

Like what Mr. randall said, I cannot imagine how Roddick would have played in Dubai, the schedule is just too tight imo..9 hrs difference from Memphis, I think it would have been tough to recover, especially if he went deep in memphis. I agree with you madmax, probably a wise decision to rest up and get ready for the american HC swing.

jane Says:

Kimmi, I checked the scores earlier and saw that Benneteau had Tsonga on the ropes. Good for him to win another big match, and again in front of the French crowd. So now he’ll be in the finals, which is good news for Fed as he’ll likely be depleted by the time he reaches Dubai. : )

I hope Novak can beat Tsonga this time.

Too bad Roddick has withdrawn, but I can see why. He has played a lot of tennis already this season, winning Brisbane and then playing 5 setters and 3 setters his last 3 events. His shoulder needs a little R&R.

Anaconda43Vr Says:

Missed opputunity for Roddickc. Dubai is a perfect court for his game.

Andrew Miller Says:

Gulbis and Baghdatis are similar in their inconsistency. I think they both have top-10 talent, just not top-10 mentalities. That’s why Andy Roddick is so admirable – take away the big serve and he essentially excels because of his other weapons: grit and street-fighting. Though we may all look at Federer’s game as consisting of beauty and heavenly shots, the reality is that behind the game from another planet there is a street-fighter in Federer also. That might be why Djokovic rubbed him the wrong way some years back: Federer saw a bit of his own “silent assasin” mentality in Djokovic, only it was expressed out loud rather than simply “understood”.

Federer is extraordinarily competitive – you cant be #1 forever unless you are!

Andrew Miller Says:

I agree with Jane – Djokovic needs the win. Big win by Sam Querrey.

I must add one thing – in my opinion the only way for U.S. tennis players to get better is to do what Sam Querrey did the other day and what John Isner did at the U.S. open – seize the throne. The top position in the U.S. has been owned by Roddick for most of the past 5 years (Agassi and Blake both held it briefly also since 2005), but Roddick is the heart and soul of U.S. tennis. Querrey’s beating him again shows that (1) Sam learns from mistakes (or at least improves) and (2) he is less afraid of winning.

That’s pretty much what it takes. There was a little too much deference from Roddick and others when Agassi and Sampras were dominating – most probably because both players were superior to Roddick and the others. However, Roddick, ready or not, seized the top U.S. ranking and led the U.S.

Others will have to brush off the “not ready” label and do that also. I know Pat McEnroe has created a group of players friendly and cordial to one another – and that is great, they should be civil outside the lines. But they better be fierce on it, and I think the U.S. players outside of Roddick have been a bit soft since Agassi departed stage left.

So…U.S. players are soft or just not talented? Up to you…

madmax Says:

Andrew Miller,

I dont think U.S. players are soft at all, and I rank Roddick right up there with the street fighters from the bronx.

He has had incredible tenacity for such a long time. I am a huge no.1 federer fan, but the respect I have for roddick is also immense. I dont and never will enjoy the expletives coming from ARod’s mouth, but in terms of his game, he has been at the top of it, for almost 10 years, in the top ten – you cannot be “soft” to maintain that kind of consistency, that’s why roddick has my vote.

Also, I know that querry and isner are the new kids, but i think they still have a way to go to take the biscuit from roddick. He is a superb athlete, who also is willing to change his game and introduce new shots – that’s what i think anyhow. some people only see roddick for the serve, but i saw many changes in his game when he played wimby last year and i was really impressed. he moved so much better, probably because he was carrying a lot less weight than before – 151bs less.

Golf is barely a Sport Says:

Roddick is a model of consistency. He was #1 in 03 and has been in the top 8 every year since. I think he finished 02 at #9 or 10. The best I ever saw him play were the first 4 matches of the 04 U.S. Open he was just destroying the ball.

Tennis Racquet Says:

Roddick is unbelievable. It’s a shame he had to withdraw, he’s in the zone these days and could give ANYONE a run for their money…. EXCEPT Federer

Ben Pronin Says:

Tennisfan#1, Federer started this year saying he wants to add to his titles tally. Straight from the horse’s mouth, he wants to win more of the smaller events. Why do you assume he’ll just let himself fall in the semis of every event?

Chi Chi Says:

I totally agree with Ben Pronin. It is going to be so interesting if Murray will meet him. I can hardly wait.

Fot Says:

I’m looking forward to seeing Roger again. Whether or not he’ll win this tournament – doesn’t matter. I just want to see him play again since the AO. Like I said earlier – anything Roger does now – to me, it’s just a bonus.

Kimo Says:

It was expected that Roddick would withdraw. You can’t just fly from North America to Asia in a few days.

Of all smaller tournements, I think Fed wants to win Dubai the most. The city has become his training ground for a few years now.

fae coleman Says:

I agree, Roger will want to win Dubai, he is feeling good about his game so I there is no reason why he cannot win this one. The question is, who will be his opponent in the final, Daveydenko, or Djokovic? Its going to be a great tournament though.

Andrew Miller Says:

Maybe Murray will win Dubai. After all he is amazing in two out of three, rather than merely great in best of five.

sar Says:

Hope Djokovic can get through.He’ll be busy. He’s playing doubles there too and then on to Davis Cup.

Voicemale1 Says:

No one’s mentioned yet that Djokovic is the defending title holder here. He won this last year when both Federer & Nadal gave this event a pass. Djokovic has yet to defend any title in his career. He’s been criticized for falling short mentally almost as often as physically on occasions like this. You’d hope Todd Martin would have instilled in him how important it is for his own self confidence for him to actually defend his title here. And after his collapse again this year in Australia, he truly needs to defend this if he has any hope of hanging with the guys who’ve been getting the better of him down the road.

And speaking of how important this tournament is for someone. If Murray has to face Federer here, after getting blown off the court by him in straights in Australia, let’s just say it would be a match Murray could not afford to lose, mentally speaking. If he were to lose to Federer again, his chances of taking him out any time soon exponentially decrease, and his confidence overall will take yet another hit. Federer by now is well on to the Murray Patterns of Trickery, making it even harder for Murray to “Slice, Dice & Junk” him like he used to be able to do. A Federer-Murray SF is FAR more important for Murray to win the for Federer. Which is to say the ball is really in Federer’s court. If he plays well, Murray has almost no chance.

Murray reminds me more and more of another artful junk baller from yester-year: Miloslav Mecir. Lots of artistic and creative shot making mixing up both junk and pace; both with a decent First but mediocre Second Serve; both susceptible to being blown out by bigger hitters/servers; and neither with a serious weapon shot to make them “the guy to beat”. They both have the same basic strategy: find artful, creative and imaginative ways to help the other guy lose to you. It only works when they can draw up enough X’s & O’s to outfox their opponents and beat them before their rivals knew what just happened. In fact Edberg once described playing Mecir as something like “Bleeding to Death”. And that’s what it looks like Murray does to the guys he beats. But when a guy with guns shows up and starts firing, Murray, like his kindred spirit Mecir, is rendered pretty much a helpless spectator.

Kimo Says:

Has people already forgot that Fed beat Murray in the last two best-of-three matches they played? ;)

Kimmi Says:

Interesting that federer thinks Murray has got Nadal’s number a little bit


jane Says:

Voicemale1 says “No one’s mentioned yet that Djokovic is the defending title holder here”

I did mention this on the “Hit for Haiti exo” thread earlier today; here’s my point, in short:

“Novak could really stand to defend a title, right here, right now.

I don’t know how important it is for future outlook that Djoko defend his title and Murray win should he meet Fed (i.e., I am not sure the ramifications of the losses would be huge); however wins would be clearly be a boost to both of their mentalities. Somehow, if this makes sense, I think the wins would mean more than the losses. Maybe not for Murray, maybe the loss would mean more in terms of his confidence against Fed going forward, which probably took a big hit after the AO final.

Kimmi, I am surprised that Fed says Nadal “lacks drive” – whoa! I guess the article is talking about number 1 ranking, but still, Rafa seems to have a lot of ambition. He’s just doing the right thing for his injuries right now.

Kimo Says:

Kimmi, since May last year, all top 10 players have Rafa’s number, them and Shakira :D

Kimmi Says:

@ jnae. I guess, federer is saying nadal does not show his priority is to be number 1 at the moment, which is true as you said above his main goal is to get over his injuries.

jane Says:

Yes that’s true Kimmi. Fed said that it doesn’t seem to be Nadal’s main priority, and Fed seems to be right about that. I guess the article just spins it so it sounds like Fed is questioning Nadal’s ambition but that wouldn’t really make sense.

Voicemale1 Says:

Kimmi – Jane:

The article also quotes Federer (for a second time this year) that the real Nadal will be returning to form shortly. He’d said the same thing to a French magazine just before the Australian. Nadal has never specified his goal to be #1. He has always said his goal was to improve his tennis. If he succeeds in that, the ranking will follow suit. Federer’s game doesn’t need that much improving given the unsurpassed quality of it as it is. Nadal’s game has far more room for growth than Federer’s does.

It’s easy to forget how these two wholly compliment their extraordinary achievements. That they’ve have held the Year End Rankings of #1 & #2 for the last 5 years is extraordinary. Nadal would have been #1 for almost that entire time in just about any other era. The only thing denying him that status was the unprecedented career of Roger Federer. Yet it would take a career like Federer’s to keep Nadal out of the #1 spot for as long as he has. Conversely, Nadal had to put together an almost superhuman 12-month run (April 08 to April 09) just to supplant Federer as World #1: 13 Titles, including 3 Majors and an Olympic Gold Medal. THAT’S how good you have to be to keep Federer out of the #1 ranking.

So if anyone thinks Murray, Djokovic or even Del Potro can put together a 12-month run like Nadal had, or a career like Federer had, well..I’ll believe it when I see it. I think Federer knows the only guy out there now who can take his #1 ranking away when he’s at his best is Nadal. No one can convince me Federer thinks Murray, Djokovic or Del Potro could take #1 as long as he’s playing his best and Nadal still isn’t up to speed.

contador Says:

yahoo- eurosport. such a cheesy headline! “Federer: Nadal Lacks Drive” but the article is actually not dissing anybody. it’s nothing new, however.

fed is simply stating everything the way he has been. rafa has said his no.1 priority is getting healthy, not his ranking. fed is supportive of rafa’s present priority and goes on to say he believes rafa will be back better than ever.

those who interpret federer as arrogant, fine. he’s a tennis fan (and proud of himself and has every right to be), he’s talking as an expert observer looking at the situation and i’ve learned to listen to him. HE of all people should know, whether one likes how he states his opinion or not.

murray does have nadals “number.” and when healthy nadal, can beat federer. shoot, benny can beat federer on a federer “off” day.

and i like how fed replies consistently to the same question over and over lately about winning a calendar slam. he says it would be great and he’s “off to a good start,” but, he is first and foremost interested in breaking the sampras record of holding world #1.

i’ll be happy if he gets his goal. anything else will be a bonus, another nice surprise, like winning the AO was.

jane Says:

I am not convinced any of those players will have a winning stretch like Nadal had 08-09 either VM1 (I need to see more convincing evidence and resolve from all 3 of them first); Nadal, however, has proven over the years that he can beat Fed’s best. Even so, I don’t see Nadal getting back number 1 this year unless Fed falters at the remaining slams. Nadal has everything to gain at the next two slams while Fed has titles to defend, so they’ll be the two most important slams of the year in some ways, at least for Rafa and Fed. Given his significant point lead, Fed is sitting quite pretty at the top.

Kimo Says:

Voicemail, your last post is right on the money. That 12 month run that Rafa had was insane. He looked unbeatable, especially from Hamburg, to RG, Queens, Wimbledon, Toronto and the Olympics. That is six consecutive tounaments on three different surfaces in the span of four months. For me, during those six tournaments, he was at his very peak. Only when Rafa was at his peak was he able to dethrone the Fed.

All of this makes Fed’s consecutive streak at no.1 and the fact that he got it back more impressive.

Kimo Says:

jane, if anyone manages to take the number one ranking for Fed this year (which is highly unlikely to begin with, but we all remember how ’09 turned out for Rafa, although Fed’s much less likely to get injured) it definitely won’t be Rafa.

I think the tournament that will have a great influence on the number one ranking is RG. Djoko, Murray and Rafa can make real gains in terms of ranking points while Fed will be defending his points from last year. But I don’t see Rafa winning at Roland Garros. This year it will either be Federer, Djoko or Murray. In that order.

Kimmi Says:

voicemale: I agree with most of what you have said. Though I would like to add that when Delpo beat both nadal and federer at the USO 09’ he showed some promise that he could be the guy to challenge but his injuries have stepped him back a little just like what nadal injuries have done to him.

In 2008 when Djoko won the AO by beating federer, everybody including myself was talking about the new guy in the mix but he failed to consistently deliver. So the jury is still out on all these guys but will never count them out. They are young and their game has a lot to improve.

I don’t think they can dominate the way federer has done but they could be in the mix and make it not a two guys race. (Which I don’t think it will be anymore)

jane Says:

Kimmi: did you notice the trend with this weekend’s finals? In Memphis, two Americans play one another; on clay, two Spaniards will duke it out (Ferrer and Ferrero – good luck to the commentators keeping that straight, lol); and at Marseille, two Frenchies! I wonder if that happens much. (I guess the Argentina final would be better if it were in Spain, but it’s clay anyhow).

Kimo: what about Wimbledon? Nadal can only gain there. And Fed has to defend. It seems to me it could have an important impact on the rankings as well. Interesting that you’d pick 3 guys over Rafa for the FO given his record there. To me, if he’s healthy, he’s the top fave, with Fed second, and Djoko and Delpo third.

Kimmi Says:

jane; yeah, now that you said it, it make me wonder. that is kind of crazy. I also notice that in memphis, the two finalist in singles they also pair to play doubles’s final. The same is happening in marseille, the two finalist in singles they pair up to play doubles final. Crazy week indeed!!

jane Says:

Kimmi, AND Llodra and Benneteau are playing in the doubles final (as well as squaring off in the singles final) in Frances, just like Isner and Querrey – very interesting. It’s a win-win situation for these events as a home guy wins no matter what.

jane Says:

Oops – you already posted that, you beat me to the punch, LOL.

Kimmi Says:

Yap lol..but its good. i don’t think that happens often!

I think querrey is a better mover compared to Isner. So i pick Querrey. But Isner year so far is amazing. three tournaments he enters, one win, one final* and GS rd16. Excellent start.

*results could change tomorrow!

Kimmi Says:

Correction on my post above @ 1:05am “I don’t think they can dominate the way federer has done but they could be in the mix and make it not a two guys race. (Which I don’t think it will be anymore)”

should read “I don’t think they can dominate the way Nadal did on that 12 months stretch but they could be in the mix and make it not a two guys race. (Which I don’t think it will be anymore)”

Ben Pronin Says:

Djokovic and Del Potro have the games to dominate for months at a time. However, both have physical and mental limitations. Djokovic has proven he has trouble handling the pressure and Del Potro hasn’t played with the pressure long enough to prove he can handle it. (Usually, young players have trouble handling pressure so I think it’s fair to assume he can’t until he proves otherwise).

Murray has the mental capacity to dominate as long as he’s not facing Federer at his best (perhaps one day he’ll get that win and even that won’t be an issue) but his game isn’t made for dominating since it’s a defensive based game.

madmax Says:

just wanted to say, great posts from everyone, loving voicemales analytical style –

can say that there was definitely a “twist” on the media take of federer saying “rafa’s lost his drive”. That isnt what he said exactly. Listened to the voice call of the interview – why do I get surprised that the media want to drive a wedge between these two? Fed is definitely being supportive of rafa and rafa clearly said that his no.1 priority is to be healthy, win tournaments and the ranking will take care of themselves!

Bring on Dubai!

margot Says:

Voivemale 1 @ 9.58. Always like v. much your analysis. Think you are wrong about Murray though, he’s in it for the long game and a loss to Fed would irritate, not undermine too much. Also think he’s going to go on improving and surprise us all…at least I hope so!
Think French Open will be very significant for Rafa and really test his fitness. Can’t wait!
Andrew Miller: I think Murray will do better at FO this year, semis? but can’t see him winning it..yet. Surely hard courts are his best surface?
Agree also with everyone, can’t see any of current totally dominating like Rog n’ Raf. However,unpredictability is always most interesting isn’t it? Although Fed’s play at AO was absolutely fabulous, the match itself was “boring” was it not, in terms that the outcome was never in doubt?

madmax Says:

morning margot! how are you!

am going to disagree with the comment above about the “boring” match. I watched it (AO) again (last night) and match aside for a minute, listened to presenters with their Ooohsss and ahhhhssss for the match. some of the shots from Murray were outstanding. really were. equally from roger. and c’mon margot! that backhand from fed was just, well, WICKED!….never boring. “on fire”, ripping it up, margot. rip,rip, rip.

the match was a great match i thought. some of the write-ups after also commenting on the great shots, analysis was great. although it didnt go the five sets, murray had that chance in the second set to take it on and then onto a possible fourth set and you have to say margot, the tiebreaker, i could not believe how “close” it was. Andy had the edge in that, but lost it. what was it finally in the third? 10:12?, now surely margot, that CANNOT be called boring? I couldnt watch it some of the time,so nailbiting –

and i think it was v wade and g rudz saying murray was going to win, david lloyd, even mats w, this was murray’s time, as was brad gilbert on CNN with pat mac, and j mac, they were all rooting for muzz.

jane Says:

I agree with you margot that the AO final was anticlimactic. Except for in the 3rd set, when things got tight, it was quite exciting; at that point, I still believed Fed would pull it out in 4 sets if Murray got the 3rd, but it would’ve been a more exciting final had it gone at least 4 sets. At least that’s my opinion. I would definitely enjoy more unpredictability.

(madmax I don’t think margot is saying the shot-making was boring, she’s say the outcome – looking rather predictable throughout – was what took away from the excitement…. Plus it was an entirely different match in some ways if you were cheering on Murray to win.)

As for Murray winning the FO, I wouldn’t rule it out but I think it’d be the most surprising slam for him to win at this point in his career. I would be more apt to pick him for Wimbledon. Or the USO. I do think he has a good shot on grass, feel his game has lots of potential there but he can’t back off. He played a very good match against Roddick but A-Rod was more aggressive and is a more experienced higher pedigree grass player (always up there as a potential favorite to win the whole thing if healthy). Experience does seem to pay dividends on grass — generally speaking.

margot Says:

sorry madamax: outcome never in doubt = a boring match, for me anyway! If Murray had got a set…now that’s another matter. However, I have no desire to re-visit, this was merely an example. All my favourite grand slam matches have gone to 5 sets with me, on the edge of my seat, wondering who the heck was gonna win. Now that’s not boring!

margot Says:

Hi jane! How nice to see you, not often we meet here at the same time!
Yes, that’s exactly what I meant!
I’ve been watching a lot of the Olympics, my word is my heart in my mouth watching those speedy skiers and their injuries..!!
Have a gr8 Sunday!

jane Says:

Ditto margot – enjoy your day and what you see of the games!

madmax Says:

roger federer fans! roger just pulled out of dubai with a chest infection! doctor statement shortly. am not surprised after going to Ethiopia, with jabs like yellow fever,rabies,typhoid, etc. god. am so sorry he’s not playing.

Margot, of course. not a problem. i enjoyed the match for a number of reasons. I dont feel that all great matches have to go five sets. that was all.

madmax Says:

Jane, yes. outcome anticlimatic in terms of the hype. I understand that and where Margot coming from.

Just so disappointed for federer not playing. he loves dubai has been a champion there, 4 times? I wonder who will be given a wild card?

madmax Says:

Ailing Federer out of Dubai Open tennis
(AFP) – 44 minutes ago

DUBAI — Ailing top-seed Roger Federer has pulled out of the two-million-dollar ATP Dubai Open due to a lung infection, officials said here Sunday.

“He has got a lung infection,” said ATP circuit official Stephen Duckett. “He saw a doctor and he was advised not to play for a fortnight.”

jane Says:

So sorry to hear that news about Roger madmax : (

I hope it’s nothing serious and that he is well soon; definitely all the traveling these players do has to tire them out which stresses the immune system.

madmax Says:


I think its incredible dont you that they dont come down with many more illnesses/injuries. I checked on the website for Ethiopia (duro was right you know Jane!),

there are 5 or 6 different jabs before you allowed into the country – what was federer thinking at that time? wonderful thought but may be better to go in an “off season” break – November?

anyhow, nothing can be done about it save for him to rest up! Tommy Robredo taking his place.

Even so Jane, I will still be watching it to see how novak gets on defending his title and I wish you well here, same goes for margot, whom I assume (of course) will be raring for murray to do damage! It will still be good to see the top players playing, that’s for sure!

Chest infections though – i had one over christmas with very bad flu, lost voice, burning chest, was bad. so antibiotics helped a lil bit but really you just got to see it through Jane,

Poor roger!

madmax Says:

For Jane and Margot!

Murray is now seeded No. 1 at this event, and likely to be a rematch with cilic – awesome!

World number one Roger Federer has pulled out of the Dubai Championships because of a lung infection.

The Swiss, a four-time winner in Dubai, is expected to be out of action for a further two weeks.

Federer was due to make his first appearance since winning the Australian Open last month, but he will now return to action at Indian Wells in March.

British number one Andy Murray and world number two Novak Djokovic are among those competing in Dubai.

Federer’s withdrawal leaves Murray as the highest-ranked player in the top half of the draw, and the Scot will open his campaign against Russian qualifier Igor Kunitsyn.

I find this pretty sad, I was looking forward to seeing him back in action and this tournament is one of his favourites

Croatia’s Marin Cilic is a potential semi-final opponent for Murray in what would be a repeat of their Australian Open encounter at the same stage, which the Briton won in straight sets.

The first round gets under way on Monday, with Murray against Kunitsyn the late match after defending champion Djokovic takes on Guillermo Garcia-Lopez at 1500 GMT.

Colin Says:

Well, well, well! Doesn’t this highlight the stupidity of those who say Murray can never possibly win a Slam while Federer is still active? That statement is obviously based on the assumption that Federer will be playing in all the Slams during the rest of Murray’s career.
Even the godlike Fed can’t CHOOSE when not to get ill. This lung infection could perfectly well have arrived just before one of the Slams, couldn’t it? I’ve said it a hundred times, and I’ll keep on saying it – nobody can predict the future.

Skorocel Says:

To those of you who claim it’ll be highly unlikely to dethrone Fed from his No 1. ranking in 2010, please consider this:

Fed’s GS results in 2009: FO winner, W winner, USO final
Nadal’s GS results in 2009: FO 4th round, W didn’t start, USO semifinal
Djoker’s GS results in 2009: FO 3rd round, W quarterfinal, USO semifinal
Murray’s GS results in 2009: FO quarterfinal, W semifinal, USO 4th round

In other words,

Fed has to defend: FO 2000 points, W 2000 points, USO 1200 points, 5200 points in total
Nadal has to defend: FO 180 points, W nothing, USO 720 points, 900 points in total
Djoker has to defend: FO 90 points, W 360 points, USO 720 points, 1170 points in total
Murray has to defend: FO 360 points, W 720 points, USO 180 points, 1260 points in total

Skorocel Says:

Btw, pity that Fed had to pull out from Dubai, as I really liked his draw! Benneteau in the 1st round, then Cilic in the quarters, Murray in the semis, and then possibly Djoker in the finals. The more challenging it gets, the better it usually is for Fed…

Skorocel Says:

margot said: „I’ve been watching a lot of the Olympics, my word is my heart in my mouth watching those speedy skiers and their injuries..!!“

I perfectly understand your feelings margot, but then again, where the most challenging courses should be if not at the Olympics?

Lung Infection Forces Federer Out of Dubai Says:

[…] Recent News… Possible Federer v. Murray SF in Dubai; Roddick Withdraws […]

margot Says:

skorocel: re Olympics, so true! And very, very, exciting it is. Was v. surprised at your resume of points to defend, at Rafa’s I mean, so few compared to Fed. Also, in retrospect up to USOPen, what a good year Andy had!

madmax Says:


indeed. thank you for your analysis on points. but i would imagine fed would much rather have still reached 2 finals of a slam, won the other two to add to his resume, rather than worrying about all the points he has to defend? otherwise, if this is what all athletes worry about (how many points they have to defend), then why enter a tournament at all?

Yes, it is true they are a lot of points, but his slam count is up by 2 as a result, and its the slams that count skorocel.

Everything now for Federer is bonus time. When I heard about his lung infection, it worried me, as I thought it may have a connection to him travelling to Ethiopia, even only in the villages he went to for a day – I think it is an 8 hour flight there, 8hour flight back – getting settled, etc, I really hope he takes care of himself. It’s silly really, because what can we do? whether it is illness or injury? only players themselves will know what to do, doesnt stop fans from worrying though skorocel, does it?

Rafa has a lot of points to defend in masters series this year? you just refer to the slams above?

He has to defend, Rome? Barcelona (is this right?), and one other? so that is 3,000 points or am I wrong skorocel, apologies if I am. I will go and check now.

madmax Says:


Indian Wells 1,000 points
monte carlo 1,000 points
rome 1,000 points
barcelona (is this 1,000 or 500 points).

So, either 4,000 or 3,500 points for rafa to defend at masters series events? Is this right skorocel?

jane Says:

Skorocel, thanks for laying out that math. Because of the points lead Fed has right now, it *seems* like it would be impossible to dethrone him, particularly when playing his best. But I suppose even if he gets to the final of two slams, but loses early at another, anything could happen. He also won the Cincy MS and the Madrid one, so there’s another 2000, plus all of his semis results at IW, Miami, Rome, etc. He does have his hands full so he will need this rest right now to gear up.

P.S. Great win for Slovakia in men’s hockey! 6-0.

Kimmi Says:

“He has to defend, Rome? Barcelona (is this right?), and one other? so that is 3,000 points or am I wrong skorocel, apologies if I am. I will go and check now.”

madmax: Good point. Skorocel was indeed only looking at slams, though I agree slams are where a lot of points can be gained and lost. But MS 1000 tournaments have a lot of points too where Rafa is defending 3 wins (IW, Montecarlo,Rome) and Barcelona (500) which is huge too.

Madmax, its a lot of points till end of the year but if we take till madrid.

Rafa 3500 (W) + 360 (S)+ 180 (Q) = 4040
Federer 1000 (W)+ 1080 (S) + 90 (R16) = 2170

But its true that if federer loses early in any of those slams and one of those guys went on to win it..it will be a huge loss for him and a big gain for the other guy..unless he can compasate wins on few MS which will not be easy.

The thing is the unpredictability..no one really know what will happen, thats is why we are all watching tennis.

madmax Says:

kimmi, thanks. am pleased i didnt come across as a dork with my stats! I said either 3,500 or 4,000 but as you said barcy is a 500 pointer not a 1,000.

so both rafa and roger have a lot going on this year –

both have to be fit and healthy before they start to defend and this is a chance for others to make up some ground with the dubai title on the line (could be novak’s or murray’s for the taking), but you know, have a good feeling about cilic right now, seems he is peaking at the right time.????

cha cha Says:

madmax: as for Murray winning AO didn’t Mats Wilander say he doesn’t bet on anyone to win a GS if they haven’t won one before?

from voicemail:He won this last year when both Federer & Nadal gave this event a pass.

And if this is true then how do you feel about Murray winning against Blake at Eastborne with EVERYONE passing?

Skorocel Says:

madmax: “Rafa has a lot of points to defend in masters series this year? you just refer to the slams above?”

That’s right. Nadal could easily find himself falling to 5th place prior to the FO if he fails to defend these titles, but the point is, what we have here is 3 (THREE) players from the Top 5 who, in the remaining slams, have FAR LESS points to defend than Federer has. In other words, even if one of them fails to deliver (say Nadal), there’ll be still 2 (TWO) who’ll be ready to strike…

Skorocel Says:

jane: “P.S. Great win for Slovakia in men’s hockey! 6-0.”

Yes. Even though it was already clear before this match that we won’t win the group (and thus advance to the quarterfinals directly), it was a must win for our team, I have to say. As the things look now, we’ll most probably play Norway for the advance to the quarterfinals, which is clearly the most plausible scenario for us… Can’t wait for the quarters!

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