Andy Murray – Dubai Tennis Championships 2010

Posted on March 5, 2010

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The Dubai Tennis Championships is a tournament held in high-esteem by many of the world’s top players. The palatial setting and extravagant 7-star hotel means that the players are particularly well looked after. This luxurious and pleasurable treatment means that, for many of the games top stars, it is one of the stand-out tournaments on the tennis calendar. However, a disappointing showing on court will mean that Andy Murray will look back on this year’s event with disapproval. His 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 4-6 second-round defeat  to the Serbian Janko Tipsarevic was a frustrating set-back for Murray who must now concentrate on returning to form in time for the first Masters Series event of the year in Indian Wells.

In truth, Murray probably did not expect to perform at his best in Dubai given that he had completed very little practice since his enthralling run to the Australian Open final. Instead, he had taken time out to relax and watch Premier League football, a decision which left him woefully ill-prepared for this event. The idea behind this break was to help his body recuperate from the demands of the gruelling two-week grand-slam event in Australia, thus keeping him fresh for what will hopefully turn out to be a successful season in 2010. If that proves to be the case, then this poor showing in Dubai will be of little significance but right now it feels like an opportunity lost.

Tipsarevic was the better player on the day and he deserves credit for being able to impose his game so forcefully on Murray. What will disappoint the British number one the most is the fact that he worked so hard to get himself back in to the match on numerous occasions, only to lose meekly in the end. After a tight first set, which Murray lost in a tie-break, he fought back well, taking the second set 6-4 and levelling the match at one set a piece. Then, in a pulsating third set, Murray found himself at 1-4 and staring down the barrel of defeat. Tipsarevic was inspired at this point, successfully dictating play and producing some fine tennis. However, Murray, as he so often does these days, found another level and began producing the kind of tennis we have come to expect. As Tipsarevic served for the match at 3-5, Murray won an unbelievable rally and went on to break his serve and make it 4-5. The feeling was that Murray would level up the match in his next service game and go on to victory but, inexplicably, after producing such high-quality tennis for the first time all evening, Murray lost his serve again and Tipsarevic took his place in the quarter-finals.

Murray’s disappointment was compounded by other results. Roger Federer’s withdrawal at the start of the week through illness was followed by defeats for Tsonga, Cillic and Davydenko, leaving the field wide-open had Murray progressed. One look at the quarter-final line-up left most people in no doubt that only Novak Dojokovic would have seriously been able to stop Murray winning this title had he managed to beat the world number 39 Tipsarevic. It was not to be and Murray must now travel to America and make sure his preparations for Indian Wells are far more thorough than they were for Dubai.

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Posted in: Tennis