Davydenko Deserts Dubai with Wrist Injury; Djokovic Wins, Murray Plays Later Today
by Sean Randall | February 24th, 2010, 9:19 am

The Dubai tennis stop is truly snakebit. Roger Federer, Juan Martin Del Potro, Andy Roddick and now Nikolay Davydenko have all pulled up lame with injury. Davydenko being the latest and the answer to the question, “Who’s next to fall in Dubai?” ADHEREL

The hot-handed Davydenko retired because of a bad wrist earlier today after dropping the first set to Michael Berrer 6-3. He hopes to be ready for Russia-India Davis Cup tie in 10 days.

“It’s disappointing for me because I didn’t recovery fast enough,” said Davydenko. “I don’t know if I’ll go to Moscow for Davis Cup.”

The only two seemingly “healthy” guys in the Top 6 are both on court in Dubai today. World No. 2 Novak Djokovic struggled in three sets to beat his Serb countryman Victor Troicki 3-6, 6-4, 6-2. He’ll now await the JW Tsonga v. Ivan Ljubicic winner in the quarterfinals.

Andy Murray is on tonight against Janko Tipsarevic. Marin Cilic, a possible semifinal foe for Murray, was also a winner as was Marcos Bagdhatis who now plays Berrer.

In Acapulco, credit to the American boys Sam Querrey and John Isner. Just a few days removed from playing the indoors hardcourt final in Memphis, they flew to Acapulco to get in some needed clay preparation ahead of their upcoming Davis Cup tie with Serbia. The boys, however, both went down last night. Querrey lost a heartbreaker to Fernando Gonzalez in a third-set tiebreaker while Isner was straight-setted by Simon Greul.

Despite the losses you have to admire the fact they gave it a go on the clay in a Spain-heavy Acapulco event. Spaniards Juan Carlos Ferrero, David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco and two-time champ Nicolas Almagro, who plays Richard Gasquet, all won their first round matches Tuesday.

In Delray Beach, Florida, James Blake led Taylor Dent 5-3 in the third set before rain halted play. Ivo Karlovic, Ernests Gulbis, Jeremy Chardy and defending champion Mardy Fish were among the first round winners yesterday.

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42 Comments for Davydenko Deserts Dubai with Wrist Injury; Djokovic Wins, Murray Plays Later Today

madmax Says:

well everyone, this is just incredible with davy now also out and only February! Rest, rest and rest somemore.

A longer off season from now on, promoting a shorter tennis calendar, would be such a good idea. and tell me someone, why is it that the players dont strike for this (cannot think of any other way?), if they all decide to stick together on this one, and have another month off, then who can argue with them? They wont have signed up in terms of contracts 12 months ahead, would they?


madmax Says:

Dubai, UAE – Novak Djokovic Wednesday repeated his plea for a rational ATP calendar after squeezing into the quarter-finals at the Barclays Championships. “The schedule is our main issue,” said the member of the Player Council headed by Roger Federer and also including Rafael Nadal. “The Council and ATP in general, we are all working together towards some better solutions in the future.”

Djokovic lashed out at the well-renumerated grind inflicted on the world’s best a month ago, giving his support to the controversial blue-sky proposal of a bi-annual, two-week Nations Cup event which would have to draw most top players into the field and is subtly designed to eliminate the annual Davis Cup.

“I cannot say I have the toughest schedule because more or less everybody, the top players, have this kind of schedule,” said the Serb, 22.

Djokovic called the contentious issue of the 11-month calendar “a very sensitive question.”

“It’s a big subject, you just have to accept it the way it is even though it’s crazy… changing after one day indoors, outdoors, different surfaces.

“You can easily get injured. And then couple months pass by without you playing the tournaments and from number two of the world you go to number 15.

“And then what happens, you know? You start to lose a lot of things. People don’t pay attention to you anymore.

“But this is the cruelty, you know, this is the reality of today’s world. It’s just the way it is.”

The 2008 Australian Open winner is a perfect example of that kind of scheduling, playing outdoors at the Australian Open, indoors in Rotterdam a fortnight ago and now on the cement again in the emirate.

He is due to star for Serbia next week on indoor clay in Belgrade against an American side missing stalwarts Andy Roddick and James Blake.

Read more: http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/311041,

Ben Pronin Says:


All these injuries are starting to look rather odd. Wrists, stomachs, knees, shoulders. Except for some interesting ones, most of these injuries follow a trend.

The guy who ever claims is physically weak is the only one who’s pretty healthy. Unfortunately, rather than taking advantage of this open opportunity, he’s mentally frail.

Once Murray recovers from his AO problems, I think he’ll have a successful campaign at the upcoming Masters. He has a lot of points to defend and I think he’ll be able to defend most of them.

jane Says:

STRIKE! Great idea madmax. Only I doubt it’ll ever happen. Has there ever been strike action by players?

I guess, the good thing to take away from Novak’s tirade is that they are at least working on it; they are taking it as an on-going issue to the players council. And maybe it’ll change.

In the meantime I hope he keeps his eye on the ball.

Colin Says:

I doubt you’ll ever get a players’ union, because it’s mostly a game for individuals and they’re very individual. and pretty self-centred (as they have to be). Without a union you won’t get a strike. Even if you had a union it might not work. Don’t forget, union members don’t always agree with union policy. Imagine a union calling a strike, and a top player, for his own reasons, is keen to play. He’d just leave the union. He wouldn’t say “I’d like to play, but I’ll refrain for the benefit of the majority. These guys don’t think that way.

Phil Says:

Dubai is just a boring tournament this year and the players look like they want to be anywhere but on court. Murray stinks out there!!!What’s up?

jane Says:

Phil, Murray doesn’t stink, imo. Tipsy is a giant killer; from time to time he takes the big guns out. He’s a dogged player. Moreover, Murray himself said he took the time totally “off” after the AO loss. He needed the rest – mental and physical – and so he didn’t practice or train.

But I do sense a certain jadedness in the players, and I agree with you there. I don’t know what it is or why, but so many players are sick or injured. And they are resting up for the big events ahead – the Davis Cup; the masters series on hard; and then straight into clay and grass. They are building energy and recuperating. And/or, they are playing half-heartedly. Too bad, but I guess they have to keep their priorities straight too.

Ben Pronin Says:

Dubai has been voted as one of the best events on tour by the players for a number of years now. Why would they leave a place that treats them so well?

Murray is playing so-so. He’s letting Tipsy take it to him. He could be more aggressive.

What is going on with the players? It’s true they probably wouldn’t strike since they’re more concerned with themselves, but it seems like ALL of them don’t wanna play.

madmax Says:

Tipsy’s last shot was just awesome everyone! Amazing game right now!

Jane you are right, an absolute Giant killer – they should call him JACK!

It really is a cracker of a match so far. Murray is under par, but Tipsy is on fire! taking his opportunites. exceptional tenacity (just what sam smith said). It’s the best I’ve ever seen him play Jane!


madmax Says:

I never thought that Tipsy would ever be in the lead in this match, but jane, you must be biting your nails right now. somehow I think murray has enough left in the tank.

Hypnos Says:

As I’ve written before, the #1, #5 and #50 players all have different agendas.

* #1 needs rest and gets all his points at Grand Slams

* #5 needs those Masters Series events to keep pace, but would rather rest than play ATP 250s

* #50 player exits most top level tournaments early, and needs as many events as possible to accumulate points and earnings

Then, there’s the tournaments’ interests: Australia own January, hot places/Southern Hemisphere/smaller indoor tourneys own early spring, Asia own October, etc. etc. When is there free time?

jane Says:

margot, Kimmi – alas Murray didn’t make it past a fighting Tipsy. But I like that Murray never gave up and fought until the end. His serving was actually a little inconsistent, he wasn’t at his very best. Still, he was playing a hot, giant-slaying Tipsy. I hope Tipsy can make the most of this upset. I hate when players take out a top guy and lose next round.

I am beginning to think Cilic could win his 3rd tournament of the year here.

madmax Says:

well,i just hope that people dont hold it against murray for smashing his racquet.you hear so much about fed having done that in miami, novak, i think at ATP, (who cares?), to me, shows how much they care about the game and how disappointed they are that things are not going there way.

Jane and Margot, murray will be fine. I think he still “thinking” a little about AO, he came into dubain (imo), not ready to play (mentally and physically), this is why the calender needs changing, seriously, these guys need a longer break.

credit to Tipsy fans. he really did play the match of his life, i think.

madmax Says:

meant to say WTF for novak and “dubai”.

margot Says:

Good job I didn’t rush home from work to watch this! Pathetic! He should have stamped all over Tipsi. However, Andy looked awful out of sorts on Monday and according to an interview in the Guradian seemed he was aching in every part of his body.Also looks like he’s gonna take quite a while to get over Aussie Open.
Meanwhile, come on Djko! And if he can’t win, not playing too well jane? then Cilic whose has usurped blooming Tsonga in my league of favourites!

margot Says:

madmax: agree!

Ben Pronin Says:

“this is why the calender needs changing, seriously, these guys need a longer break.”

Madmax, what do you mean by this?

jane Says:

margot, I think Cilic has the best shot. Djoko was already struggling in his first 2 rounds. I’d love to see him defend a title already, and I don’t care whom he has to face to do it. It’s not his fault is Fed is sick; Delpo, Roddick and Rafa are injured; Murray lost earlier than expected; Davy pulled out with injury, etc. If he can win, he fully deserves credit for being the last man standing and for finally defending a title. BUT – CAN HE?

I have no idea. sigh.

Take heart re: Murray margot; I agree with what madmax said!

margot Says:

cheers jane, of course if Djko wins he deserves it, to say anything else is just being mealy mouthed. Awful lot of injuries aren’t there? Worrying for the start of the season. In newspaper Andy was quoted re his groin. That was troubling him back at the O2.
Hey ho! Back to the v. exciting Olympics. Interesting as UK has zilch chance of many medals, I am just sitting back and enjoying it all in a totally relaxed G n T sort of way…

madmax Says:

Hi lovely Margot and Jane!

Ben! I said what I said because just look at how many players in top ten and beyond are injured/jaded/tired.

Novak (see my article posted, 2nd post above), said they all have FOUR weeks “off season”. I mean Ben. Seriously, 4 weeks? it’s not long enough for these guys. Great for us to see them play the tournaments Ben, of course, BUT we need to protect our players. I know TV rights, sponsorship deals involved, but I really think they should make more of a stand. TAKE 2 MONTHS OFF, limit the tournaments per year.

In fact Ben, about an hour ago, the presenters were discussing this already on skylive, saying too many tournaments to play during the year. So they came up with a plan.

That the ATP cut the davies cup (every two years), cut some 250/500 point tournaments and then played sydney tournament, increase it to a masters series at 1000 point, 2 WEEKS BEFORE THE AO, that the whole month of Jan/Feb is dedicated to Australia, then to take a week/2 weeks off to rest/recouperate, if you check out their hypothetical example on skysports Ben, you’ll see the full discussion there, but I really think they do have a point.

Don’t you?

jane Says:

Hi madmax, I think they should definitely have a warm up Masters before the AO, and I think they should have one on grass before Wimbledon too. It would be nice if they have more of a break between the French and Wimbledon. The calendar could definitely use rejigging.

margot – cheers to you – enjoy the Olympics!

Ben Pronin Says:

Even though it would make sense to have a Masters before the AO, I don’t think it’s the best idea. The great thing about the AO is that everyone (usually) is rested and they’re ready to give it their all. A Masters before the AO would play something like this: top 5-10 would give a half-assed effort because they care about the AO more and don’t want to waste energy. The rest of the top 20-25 will see this as an opportunity to win a big title. We’ll see a weird event with nonsensical results.

I’d much rather see epic 5 setters between Gasquet and Gonzo or Youzhny where they’re expanding all their energy for the first time.

As for resting after the AO, that just can’t be done. The off season definitely needs to be longer by at least a month or a month and a half. 8-10 weeks rest would impact everyone significantly in a positive way (except maybe a red-hot player towards the end of the year).

Dubai is 3 weeks after the AO. That’s plenty of time for Murray or any other finalist to rest. Federer has done the AO-Dubai double a couple of times. Hell, he’s done the AO-Dubai-IW triple! Murray feeling tired isn’t his fault, though. 4 weeks is not an off season. 4 weeks is less than the amount of time Federer rests between Wimbledon and the North American hard court season.

But this issue is just too big. It really is. You can’t simply cut events. Hamburg sued the ATP for simply being downgraded. Imagine 10-20 law suits from a bunch of events. You also can’t condense the events (more events played in 1 week) because the field would be too spread out and events would end up with draws starting at the round of 16.

I’m starting to disagree with spacing Wimbledon and the FO more. An extra week maybe, but if Federer AND Nadal can win both, then other players who don’t win both shouldn’t be complaining. A grass court Masters would also make sense, but isn’t entirely necessary. The trend at Wimbledon lately has been that it’s a veteran’s event. Ferrero, Haas, Schuettler, Safin, Hewitt, and other players past 25 have all made at least the quarters in the last 2 years. The reason is that these guys can 1) handle Wimbledon and 2) play on grass. Except Safin, but he’s awesome anyway.

One thing that I could suggest right away is cut down the draws in some of the Masters. Indian Wells and Miami take up an entire month of the calendar. Cut them down and make them 1 week events. Give the players a week’s rest in between (have a 250 or two for the players who lost early) and that’s 3 weeks for 4 events instead of a month for only 2.

Fun fact: Miami and Indian Wells have a 96-man draw. All other Masters have a 56-man draw. Except Paris, which features a 48-man draw.

jane Says:

Ben, to me, IF the off season were longer, it would make sense to have a MS event before the AO because then the players would give it their best effort, just like they do in the MS events leading up to the FO and the USO. Were this the case, I just don’t agree with you that they’d give a half assed effort. They may do that now in the exos and pre-AO 250 events. But as for Masters series – players love to win those titles and they’re great tune ups for the slams. To me, it makes more sense to have a hard court MS event say 1-2 weeks before the AO than to have two of them in the states before the players go to clay! Some of the schedule just makes no sense in my opinion.

jane Says:

P.S. I agree with you about Miami and IW, and I also think that 1 extra week would be enough between FO and Wimbledon; however, I still think converting, say, Queens to a Masters makes sense.

madmax Says:

Ben, thanks for responding and I enjoyed reading what you said, but I like Jane’s idea more. And when you talk about suing/being sued – of course that wouldn’t happen, because if the calendar was regigged to accommodate all the players having an off season, it wouldnt happen UNLESS the ATP and ALL players agreed, so there would be no need to take anyone to court.

C’moon! Players! Let’s strike! equal rights! more holidays and less injured players in the future! There HAS to be a serious consideration of this -it’s only February and look what’s happening already.

Ben Pronin Says:

There would be plenty of law suits. It’s not just the players and the ATP, it’s the tournaments. The tournament organizers could lose money if the calendar is shifted in a particular way. Especially if tournaments are cut, that’ll be a catastrophic mess.

I’m not saying creating Masters is a bad idea. Sometime last year I made up my own little concept schedule. I pushed the AO far back and put IW and Miami before it. The thing is, making Sydney or something else a Masters will make things even harder. The players don’t want MORE Masters to play. Imo, the best would be 2 Masters before each slam. That means, take one of the clay Masters (there are 3) and convert one into grass and make Queens a Masters, too (like Jane said). That means there will be 10 Masters total. The ATP made Monte Carlo an optional event for obvious reasons, but it’s not enough. The players shouldn’t have to play all 10 events. They should have to play, say, a minimum of 8 (the way it is now). However, players who perform particularly well should be given exceptions. Like, if a player accumulates X amount of points, they can skip an extra Masters OR other 500/250 event.

Madmax, there’s no way there’s ever going to be a strike. The complaints are coming from the top players. Del Potro, Federer, Nadal, Davydenko, and Roddick are all in the top 10. Everyone else is fairly healthy and playing. You want the top 10 to strike? That’s going to accomplish absolutely nothing.

jane Says:

But in a way it’s even more important to address if the players who are falling ill, becoming injured, and so forth are the top ten players because they are the biggest draws, in most cases, to the events. I actually enjoy watching some of the smaller events with lesser ranked players – for e.g. last weekend with Isner and Querrey playing for a title. However, they can play more of those events because they lose earlier in the slams and MS events, as someone pointed out already (Hypnos?) – Anyhow the top guys are the ones going deep in the biggest events and they are the ones who play the longest season as they end up at the deep end in the slams and they have to play the WTF. So while there may not be a strike or even radical rejigging of the calendar, surely some changes can be made to shorten the season and still keep the smaller events running and show-casing some of the lesser know talents in the game. I say spread it around! And give them all a good rest. We’ll see better tennis as a result.

Last year tennis talk did a poll about whether or not readers think the season should be shortened; I don’t post at that site but I do sometimes read and enjoy the analyses. Anyhow, I believe that even the tennis fans there voted something like over 60%-70% in favor of a shorter season.

sar Says:

I don’t know if anyone noticed Tipsa’s and Troicki’s GF’s in the stands but they are to be commended for their excellent taste.

St4r5 Says:

Tip beat Murray! I am beginning to think there is something about his rayban glasses.

Kimmi Says:

OH NOO :( Murray is out *sad face* :( Murray and Tipsy matches have always been close, and tipsy finds him not as sharp today..what can I say..he did not have a lot of expectations here after a long layoff. He needs to get ready now for IW and Miami, a lot of points to defend. C’mon Murray, put your training shoes and show us you still have the fire that took you to the AO final. Go get ’em!

andrew miller Says:

Djokovic has a point; my biggest concern is they are injured even if they do not play that much.

Roddick plays less every year and is injured more.

Federer plays the perfect amount because he has the leverage to play as frequently or seldomly as he wants (like Serena and Venus Williams, who also only play whenever they want to).

All that said: here is hoping Baghdatis wins. I correct my statement – if Roddick doesnt win a major this year, I’d like Baghdatis to win. If not Baghdatis, Ferrero. I like the old guard or getting older guard.

On the femme side…still rooting for Pannetta and Kirilenko. I recognize they are not the best but they are pretty amazing.

andrew miller Says:

Or James Blake. That will take a miracle. He would need a draw of players he dominates plus Nadal in the final of the US Open.

This is not happening.

Kimmi Says:

jane: Hooray (7-3) Go Canada!

andrew miller Says:

Another issue: Andy Roddick plays less but is injured more.

Must be the strings.

jane Says:

Kimmi – YEAH!! A great day for us: 1 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze AND we whooped the Russian hockey team for the first time in years during the Olympics. Woot! Go Canada.

Kimmi Says:

Yeah, I heard the story..50 years or something. amazing! 4 medals WOOT! Not bad at all.

Michael Says:

This injury ritual is getting too serious to damage the Sport and its appeal. It is time the ATP took a strict view on this gross violation. Most of the injury seems to be not that serious to warrant withdrawal and the latest being Davydenko who was completely outplayed by Berrer in the first set. He then threw this gauntlet pulling himself out citing a fake wrist injury. It is time that heavy fines are imposed on players who drop themselves out in the midst of a match. If a Player cites an injury problem in the midst of a match and wants to pull out, he must be checked up by a team of Doctors sponsored by the Tournament organisers to check up as to whether that injury really is serious to warrant a pull out. If on the other hand it is proved it is fake, then heavy fine followed by suspension should be invoked against the player. By this way, I feel this dangerous trend can be curbed to an extent. Coming to the Dubai Open, Murray has lost to Tipsaveric. It was a enthralling match and I thought Tipsaveric was at his best matching Murray in all departments. But yet, I thought Murray had no business to lose. Now that he has lost, the Tournament has lost out another star player considering that the encounter between Cilic Vs Murray was eagerly awaited by the spectators. But yet we need to take as they come and watch the Tournament as it unfolds. Now with Murray out, the pressure is on Djokovic to retain the trophy.

Andrew Miller Says:

Kind of feel Dubai earns the problems. Their tournament depends completely on enormous appearance fees – there’s no loyalty from the players to the tournament other than to collect that fee.

Witness Roddick, defending champ in 2009. He wins it in 2008, votes against playing in 2009 out of conviction that they did the wrong thing in denying Shahar Peer a visa (the ONLY prominent player who actually spoke up for Peer) and in 2010, again took a pass. There’s just no loyalty to that tournament other than cash.

And sure, that motivates all players. But for that tournament, it’s the only thing.

Fot Says:

Andrew – Roger is “old guard” too. *innocently looks* lol!

madmax Says:

Ben, “saying strike”, half tongue in cheek, I know it isnt going to happen! but something definitely has to. the vote that jane talked about earlier, could you arrange for something like this to happen – here – on tennis.x just to see what the majority think and come up with ideas as to how to resolve the problem.

Also, i know that TV/sponsors are involved ben, but I am sure that they would want their players to be fit and healthy (physically and mentally), and if it meant dropping a few tournaments, or re-arranging the schedule, I am sure that EVERYONE would be in agreement.

Thanks Ben.

Ben Pronin Says:

There goes Cilic.

Michael, maybe Davydenko was being outplayed because he couldn’t play his best due to injury. But I like your doctor idea. Check how injured the player is and institute a fine if they “faked” it. There’s plenty of gamesmanship out there.

Andrew Miller, I’m telling you, Dubai has been voted as one of the best events out there amongst the players for several years now. It’s not just the appearance fee, the tournament does a really good job of taking care of the players while they’re at the event. The problem isn’t Dubai’s fault. There’s not loyalty to any 500 or lower event. Except maybe Basel and Federer and Barcelona and Nadal… and Djokovic and Serbia. But other than that, these events aren’t worth playing/defending all the time for these guys. Federer has won Halle 5 times now and when he was 4 time defending champ, he skipped it (07). He skipped it again last year as the defending champ. Injury, fatigue, exhaustion, anything big or small seems to be enough for these players to take a pass.

Madmax, TV/sponsors want money and ratings. They know that big names provide those better than other names. However, are theying to sacrifice themselves to benefit these guys? More often than not, no. The way they see it, there’s always someone else. Like I said, this is a really big issue that’s never going to have a simple solution. There’s a lot of negotiating that needs to happen.

contador Says:

so true, Ben.

fans of tennis and there are enough of us, like to watch and follow, watching the matches, understanding that the big names, need more than ever, to plan for the big events and stay healthy until the bitter end, all the way to the us open and beyond. it’s a big ask. i get it. it’s disappointing to be sure, to have them sign up, then not give it their all, if too much effort is required.

what was wrong with cilic, though? and, btw, where is Soda?

seems like nole would be motivated enough to at least get the 500 points. or not, i guess. does it depend on how hard he has to fight to beat ljubicic. i hope.

ajde, ajde, ajde nole!

i think i got it ….maybe, thanks, Duro.

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