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Corona ATP Weekly Slice: Djokovic Set For Desert Duel In Dubai

Corona ATP Slice

Tap into the essentials of the week ahead and re-live the highlights of the past week with Corona ATP Weekly Slice, as we serve up an executive summary of what every fan should know, along with a look at the best in social media.

LOOKING AHEAD

Who’s Playing This Week?
Frenetic February concludes with three tournaments on three continents. The Abierto Mexicano Telcel shows off its new blue outdoor hard court after 20 years on red clay, as Andy Murray makes his Acapulco debut. Another ATP World Tour 500 series tournament will be held in Dubai, with defending champion Novak Djokovic returning in search of his fifth title in the desert paradise. Meanwhile, the Golden Swing wraps up in Sao Paulo where top seed Tommy Haas seeks his fifth clay crown.

Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships (Dubai)
The 22nd edition of the prestigious 500-level tournament is highlighted by reigning champion Novak Djokovic, Juan Martin del Potro, Tomas Berdych, Roger Federer and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.  Federer, who has won a tournament-high five titles (2003-05, ’07, ’12), and Djokovic, are the lone former champions in the field. Federer is 37-5 and Djokovic 28-3 in Dubai. They could meet in the semi-finals.

Roger Returns – No. 4 seed Roger Federer is the all-time tournament leader with five titles and 37 match wins. The 32-year-old Swiss native is off to a 9-2 start this season, reaching the final in Brisbane (l. to Hewitt), the semi-finals at the Australian Open and helping his country to a first round Davis Cup win over Serbia.

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Abierto Mexicano Telcel (Acapulco)
One of the favourite destinations on the ATP World Tour is the Fairmont Acapulco Princess, site of the 500-level Abierto Mexicano Telcel. The tournament has switched from clay to hard courts and this year’s field has attracted 13 first-time direct acceptance players in the main draw, including World No. 7 Andy Murray. Three-time champion (2010-12) and last year’s runner-up David Ferrer is the top seed.

Ferrer Trio of Titles – Ferrer has won three or more titles at four tournaments in his career, including Acapulco three straight years from 2010-12. He also added Buenos Aires to the list with his third in a row last weekend. Here are Ferrer’s three-or more titles:

Auckland (4) – 2013, ‘12, ’11, ‘07
Valencia (3) – 2012, ’10, ‘08
Acapulco (3) – 2012, ’11, ‘10
Buenos Aires (3) – 2014, ‘13, ’12

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Brasil Open (Sao Paulo)
Sao Paulo is the site of the second Brazilian tournament on the ATP World Tour. This is the third year the indoor clay court event is taking place at the Complexo Desportivo Constâncio Vaz Guimarães. The top seed is Tommy Haas, who is making his Brazilian pro debut. Nicolas Almagro is the only former winner in the draw. He won titles in 2008, ’11-12.

Brazilian Title Hopes – Three of the top four Brazilians in the Emirates ATP Rankings received wild cards: No. 123  Joao Souza, No. 130 Thomaz Bellucci and No. 163 Guilherme Clezar. Bellucci is making his seventh straight tournament appearance (10-6 record) with his best result coming as a runner-up in 2009 (l. to Robredo). Two years ago he reached the semi-finals in Sao Paulo.

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Potential Milestones (Career match wins as of 24 February 2014)
Dubai – Singles
Philipp Kohlschreiber – 297 wins
Radek Stepanek – 349 wins

Dubai – Doubles
Julian Knowle – 346 wins

Acapulco – Doubles
Horia Tecau – 197 wins

Sao Paulo – Singles
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez – 198 wins
Horacio Zeballos – 46 wins

Sao Paulo – Doubles
Mikhail Elgin – 46 wins

Emirates ATP Rankings Movers
Ernests Gulbis 18 (+5 spots) - Career-High
Kei Nishikori 20 (-5 spots)
Marin Cilic 25 (+4 spots)
Feliciano Lopez 37 (-10 spots)
Alexandr Dolgopolov 38 (+16 spots)
Joao Sousa 44 (+4 spots) - Career-High
Denis Istomin 54 (-11 spots)
Teymuraz Gabashvili 60 (+5 spots)

Birthdays
24 February - Lleyton Hewitt (33)
27 February - Facundo Bagnis (24)
28 February - Ivo Karlovic (35)

Player To Watch: Andy MurrayMurray
No. 2 seed Andy Murray makes his Latin American debut on the ATP World Tour. Murray comes in with a 9-3 record this season, highlighted by quarter-final showings at the Australian Open last month (l. to Federer) and Rotterdam (l. to Cilic) last week. He also led his country to a 3-1 first round Davis Cup victory over the U.S. with two singles wins.

How To Watch
Watch coverage of Dubai, Acapulco and Sao Paulo (Territory restrictions apply.)
Watch Live Powered by Tennis TV | TV Schedule

WEEK IN REVIEW

Twitter Top Tweets

@ivokarlovic (Ivo Karlovic)
Guy at Delray tennis center goes Hey Tommy can u sign this? and hands me a photo of Tommy Haas to sign... I signed it. Ha!

@andyroddick (Andy Roddick)
.@DelrayBeachOpen bring me some donuts .... I'm on center court
@jojomelzer (Jurgen Melzer)
@andyroddick @DelrayBeachOpen but you blamed me for eating donuts during wimbi practice... Not fair!

@milosraonic (Milos Raonic)
Wow! Great news to receive midflight about the women's hockey team getting the big comeback victory! #GoldMedalGame #Gold #GoTeamCanada

@VasekPospisil (Vasek Pospisil)
Only a month after picking up a guitar and already playing airport concerts. Not bad! pic.twitter.com/C4IjrdMyrn

‏@TheBorisBecker (Boris Becker)
It's the real deal #skydive ! Can't believe we went inside...well it's not out of an airplane ....but... http://instagram.com/p/ksQt8nkfw4/

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Video of the Week
Brazilian tennis legend Gustavo Kuerten was honoured with a commemorative plaque at the Rio Open presented by Claro hdtv on Thursday. “It is amazing to be honoured in my country," said Kuerten.

In Case You Missed It...
Rio:Rafael Nadal claims his 62nd tour-level title at the inaugural Rio Open presented by Claro hdtv, moving up to joint-seventh with Guillermo Vilas in the Open Era title leaders list. More...

Delray Beach: Marin Cilic captures his second title in three weeks after prevailing against Kevin Anderson in the longest final in the history of the Delray Beach Open by The Venetian® Las Vegas. More...

Marseille: Ernests Gulbis records back-to-back wins over Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to win the Open 13 crown, improving to a 5-0 mark in tour-level finals. More...

Tidbits
• The Delray Beach Open by The Venetian Las Vegas explored the house of local resident and former champion Kevin Anderson. Watch
Andre Sa and Bruno Soares were presented a cheque for the WimBelemDon project, through ATP ACES for Charity. More
Rafael Nadal is a contender for the prestigious Laureus World Comeback of the Year Award. More
• The Indian swing on the ATP Challenger Tour concluded in New Delhi. Robert Davis gives his latest dispatch. More
• The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum has a new CEO in Todd Martin, as it was announced that the former World No. 4 would assume the role beginning in April. More
Rafael Nadal took in a football game at the historic stadium at Maracana during his tour of Rio de Janeiro. More


 

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