Roddick Rallies In Delray, Avoids Third Straight Loss; Djokovic, Federer, Murray Return In Dubai
by Staff | February 28th, 2012, 11:15 pm

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
[3] A Murray (GBR) vs [Q] M Chiudinelli (SUI) – ATP

Not Before 4:00 PM
[1] N Djokovic (SRB) vs S Stakhovsky (UKR) – ATP

Not Before 7:00 PM
F Lopez (ESP) vs [2] R Federer (SUI) – ATP
L Rosol (CZE) vs [4] J Tsonga (FRA) – ATP

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Juan Martin Del Potro To Return In Delray Beach
Djokovic Ahead Before Desert Rain Halts Dubai Final; Gulbis a Game From First Final
Roddick Makes a Change
Federer Pulls from Dubai with Lung Infection; ATP Previews

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21 Comments for Roddick Rallies In Delray, Avoids Third Straight Loss; Djokovic, Federer, Murray Return In Dubai

Kimmi Says:

Davydenko played so well against federer at rotterdam. what happened in dubai?

So murray get to play chewy instead and he wins in straights sets. Go muzza.

racquet Says:

Murray looked much sharper today but I’m not sure he’s playing well enough yet to take out Berdych. Hope I’m wrong. Meanwhile, Stakhovsky is really taking to Djokovic. Tiebreak.

Colin Says:

Whatever difference the appointment of Lendl has made (and I think it has made a difference), it doesn’t seem to have changed Murray’s habit of starting slowly in tournaments. At least he’s in a better frame of mind than he was this time last year!

racquet Says:

^^At least he’s in a better frame of mind than he was this time last year!

Agreed. Thank heaven for small mercies.

I just feel he could’ve used one more match to get all cylinders firing before meeting a player like Berdy (who, btw, is currently slaughtering Lacko 6-1, 4-1).

Djoko gets through in straight sets. Not at his best but Stavkhovsky played very well.

jane Says:

Nole and Murray through, and it looks like it was smoother sailing for Murray today? Berdych, though, does seem to be cruising; he often does well at Dubai. Definitely it’s not an easy next round for Murray. Nole will have Tipsy who really took it to him at the USO. In best of three he has a chance.

alison hodge Says:

jane yeah i think its the old clique you cant win a tourney aT the begining of a week,but you can certainly loose it,probably a good thing to see the best players like muzza and nole been tested,they can play there way into form,not easy for muzza or nole next round,muzza was beaten by berd late last year,nole got beat at the wtfs by tipsy,hope they both manage to get through and meet each other in the semis,stange that they are on the same side of the draw though.

jamie Says:

My prediction(NOT the psychic).

Nole will win Dubai. Beating Olderer in the final.

This is my personal prediction. Let’s see if I suck when making predictions.

margot Says:

racquet: I agree with you, don’t feel Andy’s warmed up enough yet for Berdych whom he seems to struggle against anyway. Just shows how strong this field is, seems more like a 1,000. But yes, defo. in a better place here and now, than this time last year :)
jane: Andy was ill first match, a sicky bug apparently, plus being a tad rusty I guess.

racquet Says:

margot: yes, his struggle with Berdy is odd isn’t it? I mean, considering how good his H2H is against those other 2 big hitters: Tsonga & Delpo. Maybe Berdy is just better than them at taking time away from him. Seeing as the court is playing fast I’m hoping Andy will throw in a bit more S & V than usual.

Sienna Says:

last year Djoker was putting away these opponents with bagels and breadsticks. Now he is a litle bit struggling in his matcheAnd Federer is taking care of buss really well. I give Fed the upperhand when they meat. But I reckon Djoker is not reaching this final.
BTW I love the fact that Federer is making a bog deal about his 1 serve%. He really upped his game in that departement. I think if he would not have injured himself he would have been servind in the 70’s or close in his semi and never would lost that match. But he will get other chances this year.

Sienna Says:

when they meat??

jane Says:

margot, yes I read about Murray’s nausea; good that he seems to be over it. :) Murray and Berdych have met only four times and only two of those matches were played within the last two years; the other two were in 05 and 06 so clearly Berdych was the more experienced player in those matches (H2H 1-3 Berd); thus, it’s hard to say how the rivalry will go. I think Muzz could easily turn it around, perhaps starting here, though it depends on form.

Last year at the Dubai tournament Nole was most definitely not handing out bagels and breadsticks – no bagels and and only one breadstick. However, he did hand out more of those at IW and Miami.

His Dubai run went like this:
Llodra: 6-3, 6-3
F-Lo: 6-3, 2-6, 6-4
Mayer: 7-5, 6-1
Berdych: 6-7(5), 6-2, 4-2 (Berd retired)
Fed: 6-3, 6-3

the_mind_reels Says:

jane: agreed re: IW and Miami (results below for the “earlier” rounds of each tournament). I’m perfectly happy letting Sienna speak for Sienna’s self, but how I read the comment was that last spring on the hard courts (so, not necessarily Dubai as much as at this point in the season), Djokovic was crushing players at or around Stakhovsky’s ranking.

Andrey Golubev (KAZ) 39 W 6-0, 6-4
Ernests Gulbis (LAT) 34 W 6-0, 6-1
Viktor Troicki (SRB) 18 W 6-0, 6-1
Richard Gasquet (FRA) 21 W 6-2, 6-4

Denis Istomin (UZB) 54 W 6-0, 6-1
James Blake (USA) 173 W 6-2, 6-0
Viktor Troicki (SRB) 17 W 6-3, 6-2
Kevin Anderson (RSA) 40 W 6-4, 6-2 Mardy Fish (USA) 15 W 6-3, 6-1

I think it’s too early in the spring hard court season to tell how dominant Djokovic will be. If he doubles IW and Miami again, I’ll take it as a sign of more domination to come on the clay. His only real “problem” now, which is similar to the one Federer had for so many years, is that he can’t really add a ton more points to his tally — the only place to go is down. Now is when consistency pays off.

Sienna Says:

So it werent breadstick and bagels at Dubai his form realy was much better.
More importantly
I think Federer is definetely upped his level in regards to lastyear. I didnot think he was that matchtough at Dubai last year. This year is very different. I hope they meet so Fed can really test himself. It will not be an exhibition mode performance from Fed.
So it

jane Says:

I agree with this the_mind_reels: “I think it’s too early in the spring hard court season to tell how dominant Djokovic will be.” – most definitely. But just about Dubai, even though Nole has won there 3 times, none of those wins came easy; he’s never sort of cruised through there like he did at IW last year. I think his form at IW will tell us even more about where he is at with relation to last year, but I tend to agree you guys that his form looked more dominant / stronger last year. We’ll see!

margot Says:

racquet: Andy was s and v ing against Cheud and also zipping forwards whenever possible. Gr8 to see actually and his forehand….. happy sigh :)
jane: Andy was injured last time he played Big Bird and time b4 he lost on clay, so hoping he’s fit enough/match ready enough to win this time but whatever his eyes are on a different prize these days so won’t read too much into it if he loses

carlo Says:

Lendl would be there (Dubai) wouldn’t he, if this were a 1000 pt. tournament? I mean, I hope ITT is in Indian Wells for Andy.

Fish continues losing. But he doesn’t have big points to defend until after FO, I don’t think.

del Potro v Tsonga and Murray v Berdych are the 2 Dubai quarterfinals I most want to watch.

Wog boy Says:

Jane, You beat me about Dubai. Nole didn’t play particulary well last year Dubai, even he said that after Berdych match, until final. Final wasn’t so convincing either.Some of the people have short memory or……

Kimmi Says:

Djokovic is always cranking it up when he plays top guys, don’t compare how he will fair up with top guys after watching him play low ranked players.

when he plays federer or rafa he becomes a different person all of a sudden.

Kimmi Says:

gutted i get to miss most of dubai matches. the tournament is loaded.

I agree with those people that say berdych will be tough for murray. I hope murray beat him, fingers crossed.

repeat of Marseilles semi, delpo vs tsonga. go delpo! and wishing fed and nole all the best.

jamie Says:

Psychic Predictions for 2012:

AO: Djokovic(duh)

FO: Nadal

Wimbledon: Murray

Olympics: Federer

USO: Djokovic

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