Dzumhur Upsets Wawrinka In Dubai
Damir Dzumhur recorded the biggest match win of his career on Tuesday when he knocked out World No. 3 and defending champion Stan Wawrinka at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
The 24-year-old Dzumhur, who is currently No. 77 in the Emirates ATP Rankings and making his debut at the ATP World Tour 500 tournament, recovered from a 0-3 deficit in the first set en route to beating Wawrinka 7-6(4), 6-3 in 72 minutes. He will next play Marcel Granollers in the second round.
"[I was] not good enough," said Wawrinka, who was playing his first match since the Australian Open semi-finals (l. to Federer). "I think I started well, but it was a tough match, missing a little bit something to push a little bit more to be a little bit more active. I think after coming back after one month out, I had to recover from the (right knee) injury."
"The first three games were in, like, six, seven minutes. He was playing outstanding there," said Dzumhur. "Was just hitting every ball. I couldn't even touch the ball. I didn't have a chance to do something. So I knew that it's not too much about my game. It's about his day. If he's going to play like that, he's going to win, I couldn't do anything.
"But I was hoping that he was going to go down with his level of game, and that's what happened. I started to fight, to grind, and I found some way to play, to stay in the game. Playing longer points was giving me more chances."
Fresh from a runner-up showing in Marseille at the weekend, seventh seed Lucas Pouille dismissed Adam Pavlasek 6-2, 6-2 to reach the second round. The Frenchman, who lost out to countryman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the Open 13 Marseille title match, won a main draw match in Dubai for the first time in three attempts as he advanced in just 55 minutes.
Elsewhere, qualifier Evgeny Donskoy beat fellow Russian Mikhail Youzhny, the 2007 and 2010 finalist, 6-4, 6-4 for a clash against seven-time former champion and third seed Roger Federer. Fernando Verdasco set an all-Spanish clash with sixth seed Roberto Bautista Agut after beating Andreas Seppi 6-2, 7-5.
Daniel Evans will take on fourth seed Gael Monfils after cruising past Dustin Brown 6-2, 6-3. Two-time runner-up Tomas Berdych advanced after 40 minutes when Lukas Rosol retired because of a left-leg injury down 3-6, 1-2.