Sign in to comment!

Menu
Home

Tennis

Djokovic, Murray advance in Dubai

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (SportsNetwork.com) - Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray were among the first-round winners Tuesday at the Dubai Tennis Championships.

The top-seeded Djokovic notched a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Canada's Vasek Pospisil and the third-seeded Murray battled past Luxembourg's Gilles Muller in a 6-4, 7-5 decision.

Djokovic is playing for the first time since beating Murray for the Australian Open title. He is a four-time champion in Dubai, winning three straight from 2009-11 and prevailing again in 2013.

Next up for the Serb will be Kazakhstan's Andrey Golubev, who won his first-round match Monday.

Murray, who came up short in the Melbourne final for a fourth time, played earlier this month in Rotterdam and lost in the quarterfinals. He is taking part in this event for the first time since a runner-up finish to Roger Federer in 2012 and will face Portugal's Joao Sousa in round two.

Fourth-seeded Tomas Berdych, the runner-up the last two years in Dubai, earned his 499th career match victory Tuesday with a 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 triumph over Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.

The 28-year-old Czech has had a strong start to 2015. He lost to Murray in the Australian Open semifinals in between runner-up finishes at both Doha and Rotterdam. Next for Berdych will be Italy's Simone Bolelli, a 6-3, 6-3 winner Tuesday over French qualifier Lucas Pouille.

Spaniards Feliciano Lopez and Roberto Bautista Agut were also winners Tuesday. The sixth-seeded Lopez toppled British qualifier James Ward, 6-4, 6-4, while the seventh-seeded Bautista Agut moved on with a 6-3, 6-2 rout of Austria's Dominic Thiem in just 51 minutes.

A minor upset saw veteran Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus knock off eighth-seeded David Goffin of Belgium, 6-2, 7-5. The former Australian Open runner-up will next play lucky loser Borna Coric. The Croat got into the main draw after Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber pulled out because of an illness and took full advantage with a three-set win over Tunisia's Malek Jaziri.

Sergiy Stakhovsky of the Ukraine and qualifier Marsel Ilhan of Turkey also won Tuesday. Stakhovsky rallied for a three-set win over Lukas Rosol and will next play Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin, who upended fifth-seeded Ernests Gulbis on Monday. Ilhan claimed a straight-set win over German wild card Alexander Zverev and will next play Lopez in the second round.

Spain's Fernando Verdasco thumped countrymate Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, 7-5, 6-1, and will next meet Federer, a six-time Dubai champ who won his first- round match on Monday in a 6-3, 6-1 demolition of Russian Mikhail Youzhny.

Federer, this year's second seed, beat Berdych in last year's final.

All second-round matches are scheduled for Wednesday.

This year's Dubai champ will earn $505,000.