Tennis: Davydenko wins Dubai opener despite sore wrist
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.