Djokovic, Murray Cruise In Dubai; Federer v Verdasco Wednesday; Nadal Opens Buenos Aires Bid
by Staff | February 24th, 2015, 11:57 pm

Australian Open finalists Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray both rolled Tuesday at the Dubai Open. Four-time Dubai champion Djokovic eased past Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 6-4 in his first match since winning the Australian Open earlier this month.

“I’m still looking for that rhythm on the court,” said Djokovic. “But I managed to stay mentally tough. I was patient in rallies, I thought. As soon as we get through the rally, I have a better chance of winning. He’s a very flashy player, aggressive, goes after his shots.

“He served well first set. I just utilised my opportunities. When his first serve percentage dropped, I knew that’s my chance. I won a lot of those second serve points. I think that’s what decided the match, even though my serve wasn’t at the level where I wanted it to be today. So hopefully the next match can be better.”

Murray, who lost to Djokovic in the final, knocked out the dangerous Gilles Muller 6-4, 7-5.

“I think the end of both sets I didn’t serve so well,” said Murray. “But apart from that, I didn’t give him any opportunities really. I feel like I got a little bit unlucky at the end of the second set. He got a couple of net cords in that last game, the 5-4 game where I got broken, and did very well to respond straightaway and get the break right back. I thought I played a fairly high quality match.”

Tomas Berdych, Feliciano Lopez and Roberta Bautista Agut were among the other seeded winners.

Tomorrow, 6-time champion Roger Federer returns against former Spanish Top 10 Fernando Verdasco. Djokovic meets the free-swinging Andrey Golubiez. Murray will take on Joao Sousa. Berdych will also go for his 500th career win.

In Buenos Aires, Rafael Nadal begins his Buenos Aires title bid as the former No. 1 makes his first appearance in 10 years in Buenos Aires. The Spaniard has not played in the Argentine capital since his 2005 debut, when he was beaten in the quarterfinals by Gaston Gaudio. Nadal is bidding to win his 65th tour-level title, and 46th on clay.

Last week Nadal was stunned in semifinals in Rio by Fabio Fognini.

“I’m very excited to return to Argentina in February to play the Argentina Open,” said Nadal. “I love playing in Latin American because it feels like home. After having to pull out at the last minute this season due to stomach problems, I’m very excited to go back in 2015. I hope I can play my best tennis there and see all the Argentine fans, who love our sport so much.”

Nadal will play the winner between Arguello and Montanes.

In Acapulco, defending champion Grigor Dimitrov overcame a second set lapse to put away Filip Krajinovic 6-3, 5-7, 6-0.

“I’m happy to be back here,” Dimitrov said. “It brings back good memories, and I feel like I’m always playing good matches here.

“It was a bit of a weird match today. The conditions weren’t easy, and we also know each other pretty good… As soon as the third set started, it was a fresh start for me. I had a three-sets win, but I’m really happy I finished on that note.”

Kei Nishikori later won his 200th career match beating Alejandro Gonzalez.

Tomorrow, both Dimitrov and Nishikori are back on court as is Grigor’s girlfriend Maria Sharapova.

In Doha, Venus Williams advanced to the quarterfinals after saving a matchpoint in her win over Barbora Zahlavova Strycova 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(5).

Jelena Jankovic, Karolina Pliskova and Andrea Petkovic were among the other winners.

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22 Comments for Djokovic, Murray Cruise In Dubai; Federer v Verdasco Wednesday; Nadal Opens Buenos Aires Bid

Matador Says:

Btw, Is Djokovics residence Monaco?

FedExpress Says:

how is sousa even allowed to play tennis.disgrace.

bagel against murray

the DA Says:

Andy in relentless mood outclassing Sousa 6-0 6-2 in 58 minutes. I barely finished my lunch before it was over. Nice to see such intensity from Andy for a 2nd round match at an ATP500 – something he doesn’t always bring. He didn’t want to lose a single point and drove Joao to distraction. Baggy or Coric next.

Margot Says:

Well played Andy!
At Rotterdam he played brilliantly first match, then went rapidly down hill.
At least that hasn’t happened here.

the DA Says:

@Margot – You forgot the *antijinx* ;) He looked intense today didn’t he. I think (hope) he’s determined to keep focused and not go walkabout as he usually does in the ATP250/500s. If there’s one thing I hope for in 2015 it’s having as much intensity at M1000s as he does at slams. Oh, and another slam wouldn’t go amiss.

brando Says:

Such a shame Andy shall lose his next match after this marvelous display. Apparently he does not want to face Federer according to our mystic meg Sienna- and we all know none come wiser or have greater wisdom than her no? Like her last previous great revelation: Djokovic got lucky to win AO since Cilic wasn’t there! Lmfao! Seriously hope Andy faces Federer. Completely confident in his ability to produce a magnificent turn here. Vamos Muzza!

KatH Says:

With You Brando, but let’s get Murray past Coric first……and who knows, Federer might suddenly decide he’d rather have a glass of champagne…..Moet & Chandon naturally.

jane Says:

fed won’t have an easy one versus verdasco methinks. i mean, based on his form at the AO anyhow.

good win for andy. he has sousa’s number. sounds like he’ll be facing a depleted player: baggy and coric played nearly 3 hours when baggy retired due to cramping – and at 4 all in the 3rd set tiebreak no less! didn’t see it but must have been serious to retire at *that* point in the match.

congrats to berdych too on a well fought win and for reaching the milestone of 500 wins! …only the 8th active player to get there apparently.

skeezer Says:

Fed has bagged the first set over Hot Sauce, 6-4.

FedExpress Says:

fed is meaning business

wants to show seppi loss was an one-off and he can achieve many amazing things

FedExpress Says:

just utter brilliance from fed

6-4 6-3

skeezer Says:

Fed beats the Hot Sauce in 1 hour sharp. Movin on!

jane Says:

good win by fed. i didn’t see. how was fernando tonight?

skeezer Says:

just was following the scores online, didn’t have the opportunity to see it :(. Maybe someone else did?

FedExpress Says:

verdasco played like a GOAT the first 5 games to lead 4-1

then he lost 20 STRAIGHT points to fed and lost the first set.

fed was nailing some groundies today. his BH DTL slice was class

FedExpress Says:

but the crowd was clearly on Feds side. One woman especially, screaming her soul out

but unfair. but dubai means home advantage for Fed

skeezer Says:

Thanks FE for the details :)

jane Says:

yes, thanks for the fill-in.

FedExpress Says:

what a fun to watch tennis on speedy courts

FedExpress Says:

strange match if u look at the stats. ronnie was 5/7 in the break point deparment. lost only 8 points on serve but got broken twice.

brando Says:

Fast courts are serious fun. Thoroughly joyous stuff. The amount of fun I enjoyed seeing Nadal take Federer on in Dubai and Cincinnati… what joy. Soo much fun. Even was howling with laughter at how much it was to enjoy. One of life’s great treat to enjoy I must say.

van orten Says:

Porque no te callas ^;)

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