Djokovic takes first-rounder in Dubai

Feb. 24, 2009 at 2:42 PM
| License Photo

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Top-seeded Novak Djokovic said he didn't play his best but still was a two-set winner Tuesday in the first round of the $2.2 million Dubai Tennis Championships.

Djokovic needed more than an hour and a half to finish off a 6-3, 6-2 win over Flavio Cipolla. While the score was lopsided, Djokovic said the match showed his lack of practice time in the United Arab Emirates, where he arrived just two days ago.

"I'm happy that I'm through in straight sets but certainly it wasn't the performance I was looking for," Djokovic said. "I didn't expect him to play so many short balls and with a change of pace and that's probably what didn't give me a lot of rhythm."

Third-seeded Gilles Simon dropped the first set of his match before escaping a challenge from Mohammed Ghareeb 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 and sixth-seeded Igor Andreev defeated Rik De Voest 6-4, 6-0. But No. 8-seeded Marat Safin fell to Richard Gasquet 6-3, 5-7, 6-3.

Also Tuesday, Arnaud Clement stopped Rainer Schuettler 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 and Jan Hernych won 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 over Mikhail Youzhny.

Also winning first-round matches were Simon Bolelli, Julien Benneteau, Dmitry Tursunov and Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
SB50: Denver Broncos face tough call at QB in 2016
Johnny Manziel's ex-girlfriend claims he hit her
NFLPA hopes to have independent arbitration for player discipline next season
Watch every star-studded Super Bowl commercial of 2016
Group recreates 'Mario Kart' video game at UK mall