Three out of four best players in the world (Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Murray) arrived to Doha just after an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi where Murray (No. 4) beat Federer in the semis and Nadal in the final (in Doha this scenario can be repeated because Murray and Federer are in the same, bottom half of the draw). All three players won their first round matches very easily: Nadal dropped just one game against Fabrice Santoro who begins his 20th (!) and last season in the professional career; Federer lost 4 games to Potito Starace and defending champion, Andy Murray two more games against Albert Montanes.
Slovakian qualifier Karol Beck who was suspended for almost two years by taking clenbuterol, has won first ATP match since October 2005. Beck defeated 4-6 6-4 7-5 Michal Przysiezny of Poland being two points away from defeat at 4:5 in the third set on return. Also two points away from defeat was Belgian Kristof Vliegen but managed to win five consecutive points in a final tie-break against Oscar Hernandez.
(1)Rafael Nadal (ESP) d. Fabrice Santoro (FRA) 6-0 6-1
(q)Karol Beck (SVK) d. Michal Przysiezny (POL) 4-6 6-4 7-5
Nicolas Devilder (FRA) d. (WC)Abdulla Hajji (QAT) 6-0 6-3
(5)(WC)Gael Monfils (FRA) d. Jan Hernych (CZE) 6-2 6-2
(4)Andy Roddick (USA) d. Ivan Navarro-Pastor (ESP) 6-1 6-3
(WC)Arnaud Clement (FRA) d. Diego Junqueira (ARG) 6-1 6-2
Victor Hanescu (ROU) d. Viktor Troicki (SRB) 6-4 6-2
Mikhail Youzhny (RUS) d. (6)Igor Andreev (RUS) 4-6 6-3 6-4
(q)Alexander Peya (AUT) d. (7)Dmitry Tursunov (RUS) 2-6 6-3 6-4
Sergey Stakhovsky (UKR) d. Christophe Rochus (BEL) 2-6 6-3 7-6(3)
Philipp Petzschner (GER) d. Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 7-6(2) 6-3
(3)Andy Murray (GBR) d. Albert Montanes (ESP) 6-2 6-4
(8)Philipp Kohlschreiber (GER) d. (q)Marco Chiudinelli (SUI) 6-4 6-3
Kristof Vliegen (BEL) d. Oscar Hernandez (ESP) 6-1 6-7(4) 7-6(5)
Andreas Seppi (ITA) d. Denis Gremelmayr (GER) 6-4 6-2
(2)Roger Federer (SUI) d. Potito Starace (ITA) 6-2 6-2
The tournament has been moved from Adelaide to Brisbane and joined with the woman’s tournament. Ernests Gulbis made the biggest upset defeating 6-4 6-4 Novawk Djokovic. 20 year-old Gulbis broke Djokovic’s serve in the 5th game of the first set and held his serve to the end. The second set began with four breaks of serve. At 4:4 Djokovic lost his serve for the third time in this set, and Gulbis finished the match in the following game with an ace. “I’m not panicking. I’m not seriously a big doubt. The Australian Open is my highest goal for this part of the year” said Djokovic after losing an opportunity to overtake Federer in the ATP ranking this week.
American Taylor Dent has won first ATP match since February 2006. Dent, currently No. 865, didn’t play almost 2.5 years due to the recurring back and groin problems.
In the first all-tie-break match of this year, Mario Ancic edged past Amer Delic 7-6(2) 6-7(4) 7-6(6) after 2 hours 52 minutes with no break of serve. Ancic was two points away from closing out the match in two sets but in the third set he found himself in the reverse situation. Delic on three different occasions (5:4 deuce, 5:5 and 6:6 in the tie-break) was two points away from reaching second round but finally the Croat held his nerve and won for the first time in career a match composed of 3 tie-break sets. Ancic was better in aces (23-21) too.
Ernests Gulbis (LAT) d. (1)Novak Djokovic (SRB) 6-4 6-4
Paul-Henri Mathieu (FRA) d. (q)Teimuraz Gabashvili (RUS) 6-3 6-3
Kei Nishikori (JPN) d. (q)Bobby Reynolds (USA) 6-3 6-2
(5)Tomas Berdych (CZE) d. (WC)Brydan Klein (AUS) 6-0 6-4
(3)Fernando Verdasco (ESP) d. (WC)Bernard Tomic (AUS) 6-4 6-2
Mario Ancic (CRO) d. (q)Amer Delic (USA) 7-6(2) 6-7(4) 7-6(6)
Florent Serra (FRA) d. Juan Carlos Ferrero (ESP) 6-3 7-6(3)
Jurgen Melzer (AUT) d. (6)Mardy Fish (USA) 6-4 4-6 7-6(4)
(8)Radek Stepanek (CZE) d. Igor Kunitsyn (RUS) 6-2 6-2
Michael Llodra (FRA) d. (q)Joseph Sirianni (AUS) 5-7 7-6(3) 6-2
Julien Benneteau (FRA) d. Robby Ginepri (USA) 3-6 6-3 7-5
(4)Robin Soderling (SWE) d. Samuel Querrey (USA) 6-3 6-3
(7)Richard Gasquet (FRA) d. Marc Gicquel (FRA) 4-6 6-2 6-2
(PR)Taylor Dent (USA) d. Steve Darcis (BEL) 7-6(0) 6-2
Jarkko Nieminen (FIN) d. (WC)Marcos Baghdatis (CYP) 5-7 6-1 6-4
(2)Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA) d. Agustin Calleri (ARG) 6-2 7-5
Nikolay Davydenko as only Top 10 player arrived to India, and won his first match in Chennai Open convincingly 6-2 6-3 over Daniel Kollerer. In the most dramatic match of the first round, Dudi Sela eliminated Ruben Ramirez-Hidalgo despite 4-6 4:5 (0-40) on return. Ramirez-Hidalgo was one out of 7 Spaniards who entered the draw, only two of them have won first round matches, Marcel Granollers and Carlos Moya. Two-time champion (2004-05), Moya was pushed to play a tie-break of the second set in a match against Danai Udomchoke. Moya in the second raound will take on local favorite Somdev K. Dev Varman who posted third ATP win in career but first in straight sets.
(1)Nikolay Davydenko (RUS) d. Daniel Kollerer (AUT) 6-2 6-3
(WC)Lukas Dlouhy (CZE) d. Go Soeda (JPN) 3-6 6-2 6-4
Andreas Beck (GER) d. Roko Karanusic (CRO) 6-1 6-0
(8)Marcel Granollers (ESP) vs Hyung-Taik Lee (KOR) 6-4 7-5
(3)Marin Cilic (CRO) d. Alberto Martin (ESP) 6-4 6-4
Denis Istomin (UZB) d. (q)Rohan Bopanna (IND) 6-4 7-6(3)
Dudi Sela (ISR) d. Ruben Ramirez-Hidalgo (ESP) 4-6 7-6(3) 6-1 – 4 M.P.
(7)Janko Tipsarevic (SRB) d. Pablo Andujar (ESP) 6-3 6-2
(6)Carlos Moya (ESP) d. (q)Danai Udomchoke (THA) 6-3 7-6(4)
(WC)Somdev K. Dev Varman (IND) d. Kevin Kim (USA) 6-3 6-3
Ivo Minar (CZE) d. Wayne Odesnik (USA) 6-3 6-0
(4)Ivo Karlovic (CRO) d. (q)Rajeev Ram (USA) 6-4 6-3
(5)Rainer Schuettler (GER) d. (WC)Prakash Amritraj (IND) 6-2 4-6 6-1
Simon Greul (GER) d. Daniel Gimeno (ESP) 6-3 6-4
Bjorn Phau (GER) d. Santiago Ventura (ESP) 6-2 7-5
(q)Flavio Cipolla (ITA) d. (2)Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI) 6-4 6-1