Jaziri sets up Djokovic clash

Jaziri sets up Djokovic clash
Malek Jaziri

By Rituraj Borkakoty

Published: Mon 22 Feb 2016, 8:00 PM

Last updated: Mon 22 Feb 2016, 10:56 PM

Malek Jaziri, the flag-bearer for Tunisian tennis, overcame tough conditions as well as a formidable opponent to book his place in the second round of the Dubai Tennis Championships.
If Jaziri was struggling on the court, he did well to hide it during his comprehensive 6-4 6-1 win over Mikhail Youzhny, the former top 10 player from Russia.
"It was a very hard day, really. It was very hot on court when we started the match. It was very hard for me, you know, even to breathe. I just arrived from US two days ago. I woke up this morning very early. I was still suffering from jet-lag," said Jaziri who reached a career high ranking of 65 last year."But the most important thing for me was that I was fighting. From the first point to the last, I was fighting out there. I was broken and then I broke back. So that was the key to this win today," said Jaziri after beating the two-time Dubai finalist on Sunday.
Now the 32-year-old Jaziri is excited to be playing Novak Djokovic in the second round."Yeah, it should be a good match. I will try to enjoy on court and I will try to take all my chances," he smiled."He's playing his best tennis now; he is beating everyone on the tour.
"But I will play with the same intensity. In tennis you never know what can happen. That's the beauty of our sport. Who knows? Maybe I wake up to a good day!" Jaziri's Serbian coach Dejan Petrovic is not here with him at the Dubai tournament and the Tunisian says he hasn't really spoken to him about match strategies against his famous compatriot -- Djokovic.
"I was with him last week in Delray Beach. He knows Novak a little bit, so that's very good. But we don't speak on any particular match. We take it one match at a time."Jaziri hasn't been in great form in recent months and lost a five-set battle to Tommy Robredo in the first round at the Australian Open."Let's say luck wasn't on my side. I had maybe three match points in different matches.
"At the Australian Open I lost to Robredo 8-6 in the fifth. I had two match points in the fourth set."At the Qatar Open I played (Fernando) Verdasco and I was up 5-3. I had many matches in which I was in good position, but I lost those matches."But that's tennis. And that's why today's win was very important," said Jaziri who reached the quarterfinals in Dubai in 2014. Now Jaziri just hopes to play as well as he can against Djokovic in the next round."I have practised many times with him. I practised with him in Doha and Australia. He's playing his best tennis now. He's winning all the tournaments. But, you know, I have nothing to lose!"
rituraj@khaleejtimes.com




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