Men’s Singles Final to Resume on Sunday

The Men’s Singles Final of the Dubai Tennis Championships will resume on Sunday at 2pm after rain interrupted play at the Dubai Aviation Club on Saturday night, the organisers announced.

By Rituraj Borkakoty

Published: Sun 28 Feb 2010, 12:39 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 8:56 AM

Defending champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia was leading 7-5 2-0 against Russian Mikhail Youzhny.

Serbia’s Djokovic won the first set 7-5 against Mikhail Youzhny of Russia in the singles final on the Show Court when rain stopped play for the first time. After a 25-minute break, play resumed, allowing Djokovic to take a 2-0 lead in the second set. But the rain came again and forced the umpire to stop play once more.

Before this year’s singles final, the weather had played a part in the championship match only once. And that was in the 1990s.

Earlier, unseeded Simon Aspelin and Paul Henley stunned Leander Paes and Lukas Dlouhy to win the doubles title on Saturday.

Against the second seeded Paes and Dlouhy, Sweden’s Aspelin and Australia’s Henley played some superb tennis as they won the final in straight sets 6-2 6-3 at the Dubai Tennis Stadium.

“Yeah, we are extremely happy. I think Paul and I, we have started the year good, we’ve been playing well, and playing with a lot of confidence right now. And in a big tournament like this here in Dubai, it’s great to win,” a delighted Aspelin said after the fine victory.

“I think we came into the final today pretty relaxed. And, yeah, I didn’t think it was going to be this easy of a match. But they struggled a little bit. But yeah this win give us a huge confidence boost.”

India’s Paes and Dlouhy of the Czech Republic, much to the dismay of the large number of Indian fans at the Centre Court, were at sixes and sevens against Aspelin and Hanley in the first set.

The Swedish and Australian team were far too superior as they tormented their rivals with strong serves and neat net play. Even Leander, who is known for his crisp volleys, failed to find his top gear.

Aspelin and Hanley have started playing together only since April 2009. And yet they worked much better than their famous opponents who had two Grand Slam titles in 2009 at Roland Garros and New York.

They looked far more composed in crucial points and with their ability to take chances, they were able to break Leander and Dlouhy twice in the first set. It was good enough for them to win the first set in a comprehensive style.

In the second set, it was another one-sided affair. Paes and Dloughy, who staged a remarkable comeback after losing the first set in the semifinal on Friday, failed to conjure up their ‘second set magic’. And thus Aspelin and Hanley clinched the title when Dlouhy, who struggled with his serve throughout the match, made another double fault.

“We didn’t play our best tennis today. Just felt that we got off to a bad start again. The last three days I’ve started off really poor. I lost my first service game today, yesterday and the previous day,” Leander said after the final match.

“Once you get off to a bad start, it’s a drawback. Yesterday we did really well. I thought Lukas played fantastically well yesterday to get us back into the match to eventually win it.

“I felt I played two good points yesterday in the last two points of the match. But he held the team together yesterday brilliantly.”

Leander, winner of 11 Grand Slam (doubles and mixed doubles) titles, didn’t shy away from admitting that the winners played really good tennis on Saturday.

“Today we just lost to a better team. They played solid. They’re good doubles players, so they read the game of doubles well. They cover the spots well. Today we didn’t get enough balls on court. We didn’t get enough returns on court, didn’t get enough volleys on court. So we just lost to a better team today.”

His partner, Lukas Dlouhy, admitted that it is always disappointing to lose a final match. “Well, it is. Because when you are in the final, you just want to win the title. But today it was a very bad match from our side. I think yesterday we won a tough one.

“But we are happy to be in the final, and hopefully next time we can do better.”

The winners took home a prize-money of $113,450, while the runners-up received $53,320.

Paes and Dlouhy earlier defeated Christopher Kas of Germany and Dick Norman of Belgium 2-6 7-6 10-7 in the semifinals on Friday night while Aspelin and Hanley beat Spain’s Feliciano Lopez and Tommy Robredo 6-2 3-6 14-12 in the first semifinal.

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