Like Bernard Tomic who started the Australian Open quite confidently, hoping to beat Federer, the Dubai Duty Free Championship also saw one such young gun who gave Federer a wakeup call. Malek Jaziri the best player in the Arab world, was a wild card entry and probably gave Federer a scare after beating him in the first set which was received with loud cheers from the audience!
Federer held his ground and bounced back, not in the least bit deterred by his first set loss. He went on to win the match 5-7, 6-0,6-2. Despite winning, Federer said that playing against a wild card entry is always quite tricky, contrary to what others may think. Having no prior knowledge of Jaziri’s playing style and favourite shots he said it took some time to get used to his game. One would think that being the champion he is Federer would feel no pressure at all, in fact it is quite the opposite. Fedex said that the first round ,especially for the Dubai Championship always creates pressure as he is the defending champion, and it is imperative that he starts well.
Jaziri had not played a match for more than three months due to a knee injury, and is ranked outside the top 100. He is no doubt a talented player. Federer’s trepidation can be understood, being on the receiving end of 135mph serves played with the dangerous attitude of the underdog of the tournament. Another thing that gives other players an upper hand is that they are much younger than the Grand Slam record holder. Most players are within the age bracket of 23 and 27, while Federer has crossed 30.
The World no.3 had a sluggish but start has reached the quarter finals and will be facing Davydenko today . Roger Federer is bidding to win the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships for the sixth time after victories in 2003-’05, ’07 &’12. Last year, he beat Andy Murray in the final. The Swiss has a 34-4 event record and is chasing his first title since triumphing in Cincinnati in August 2012. His main rival Novak Djokovic has set his eyes on the Dubai Duty Free Championship title this year. When it comes to the other players who make up the Big Four in tennis, both Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal are not featuring in the tournament.
What do you think the outcome of this tournament will be? Will Fedex be able to win a 7th Dubai Open title?
Don’t miss the tennis action, you can check out the schedule quarter finals here:
|N. Davydenko||Feb 28, 10:30 PM|
|A. Seppi||Feb 28, 8:30 PM|
|D. Tursunov||Feb 28, 6:30 PM|
|J. del Potro|
|D. Brands||Feb 28, 4:30 PM|
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