Tennis Predictions & Stats,

January 28,2023

Delpo and Berdych win in Dubai, Tsonga out

Tomas Berdych and Juan Martin Del Potro are through to the second round of Dubai Tennis Championship, while Tsonga fell short against Michael Llodra.

Third seed Czech Berdych was a dominant figure in his first professional encounter with US player Rajeev Ram, ranked number 103. The opening set was over in twenty minutes as the Czech got hold of a two break cushion by 5-0 and served it out with a love hold a couple of games later. In the second set Ram resisted his opponent’s pressure until 2-2 when he was broken again, allowing Berdych to go 4-2 up. The American suffered another loss of serve in the last game of the match, so the third seed advanced with a 6-1, 6-3 end score after fifty-minutes of tennis.

Fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was victorious last week in Marseille, but could not regain his strength fast enough to book a second round ticket in Dubai. Everything was going according to his plan though as he broke his countryman Llodra early on, yet World No. 67 Llodra annulled the lead by 4-4 and was able to capitalize on two mini-breaks he achieved later on in the tie-breaker and win the opener. The level of Tsonga’s performance dropped in the following set as he let his fellow Frenchman to break him twice by 5-2. Llodra would not let go off the opportunity and he gladly served out the first round match to progress with a 7-6 (3), 6-2 straight sets victory. This is the first time 32-year-old Llodra has beaten Tsonga in seven ATP matches they have played so far.

Fourth seed Del Potro, who his chasing his 15th ATP trophy, spent two and a half hours on the court and fended off three match balls before entering second round. He was 1-2 behind in H2H series against Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, and their first round face-off in Dubai was always going to be tight. Baghdatis converted the only break ball chance in the opening set to ensure a one nil lead. Likewise, DelPo took advantage of his very first break point to clinch the set number two. Baghdatis broke the deadlock in the decider and went 3-1 up, yet the Argentine was back in the game by 4-4. The Cypriot then held his serve and walked his opponent to the edge of the cliff in the next game, but Del Potro escaped a three match ball scare and celebrated victory after prevailing in the last set tie-break. He took this one with 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4) final result.

Tomaz Horvat
Tomaz Horvat
Tomaz is an experienced tennis writer with a focus on the ATP tour.

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