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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tennis: Davydenko wins Dubai opener despite sore wrist


Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates Nikolay Davydenko defeated Florent Serra 6-7 (5), 6-4, 6-1 Tuesday despite playing with a sore left wrist.

The fourth-seeded Davydenko was a set and two break points down at 4-4 in the second. But he saved both and won eight successive points to force a deciding set.

Davydenko had 11 aces and saved all eight break points he faced from Serra. He said his wrist was still hurting after a fall during the Rotterdam semifinals two weeks.

"I thought I broke wrist," Davydenko said. "I had swelling for three days. I could not touch anything with my left wrist. I did not know if I would play here, which is the reason I requested a Tuesday start.

"But I started feeling a little bit better. I did not have any preparation for this tournament. I hope it's not a big problem and I can play here and the Davis Cup."

Fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga advanced when Michael Llodra retired from the all-French match after dropping the first set 7-6 (9).

Both players were battling illness, and Tsonga said he nearly withdrew before Llodra pulled out.

"It was difficult because I was a bit sick as well," Tsonga said. "With the travel from Marseille, it's really tough today. But I won. He stopped before me, so I will continue and I hope I will feel better tomorrow."

Also moving into the second round was sixth-seeded Marin Cilic, who defeated Arnaud Clement 6-2, 6-4. Other winners included Tommy Robredo, Janko Tipsarevic, Bjorn Phau and Michael Berrer and Somdev Devvarman.