World #116 and qualifier Evgeny Donskoy scored a sensational 3-6, 7-6(7), 7-6(5) victory over current Australian Open champion Federer yesterday in Dubai after saving three match points. Donskoy also came back from 2-5 in the second set tiebreak, 2-5 in the third set, and 1-5 in the third set tiebreak.
A truly remarkable turn of events after I assumed Federer would roll over Donskoy in no time. Kind of like I assumed Djokovic would roll over Istomin in Melbourne. But since when does Federer lose after having so many opportunities to finish his opponent?!
You can call it enormous choking from Federer or superb play from Donskoy when he was down. I guess it is a bit of both. But I was really impressed with Donskoy. He reminded me a bit of Djokovic the way he returned and played from the baseline.
He was fearless and stayed positive despite facing terrible odds. It was a fresh and entertaining changeup from the lower ranked players who usually implode in that situation against Federer. In fact, Donskoy was imploding until 1-5 in the third set tiebreak but then made a miraculous comeback.
Federer suffers first loss to a player outside the Top 100 since Delbonis in Hamburg 2013. First on hard since Indy 2000 to James Sekulov.
— Josh Meiseles (@jmeistennis) March 1, 2017
I guess this was the inevitable comedown for Federer after his success in Melbourne. That title came from nowhere in the sense that Federer was out of the sport for six months. I’m sure Fedfans were hoping he could continue his momentum into Dubai.
I thought he would win the title myself. The fast conditions are ideal for his tennis. But again that is the unpredictability of tennis which keeps us interested. It will be interesting to see how Federer responds in Indian Wells anyway.
Murray seems to be the favorite for the Dubai title now after a sensational second set tiebreak where Kohlschreiber had seven match points after which Murray won 6-7(4), 7-6(18), 6-1.
- Djokovic Gets Revenge Over Del Potro in Acapulco
After a tricky opener for Djokovic in Acapulco against Klizan which he won 6-3, 7-6(4), Djokovic played Del Potro yesterday after he lost to him in the first round at the Rio Olympics.
That was a tough loss for Djokovic and Del Potro was always going to be a big test. I thought it was a big match for him after what happened in Melbourne too. It was another tough draw for Djokovic but he couldn’t afford another early loss.
Djokovic was on his way back at the beginning of the year but a couple of early losses could have really set him back and hurt his confidence. I am impressed with how he came from a set down and a break in the third set to win 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 against a very dangerous opponent.
This is a good sign for Djokovic. Mentally he looks dialed in and hungry. The events in Indian Wells and Miami will be big for Djokovic and if he can get away with a title in Acapulco it’s gonna give him some good momentum.
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) March 2, 2017
But getting revenge for that Olympics loss which obviously meant a lot to Djokovic will already give him a boost. Djokovic now plays Kyrgios in what will be their first meeting. Kyrgios is always a danger depending in which Kyrgios shows up.
I’m sure he has the potential to upset Djokovic but I don’t think Djokovic is particularly in the mood to lose at this point. I’m hoping for a Djokodal final but Nadal has to deal with Cilic in the semis if he defeats Nishioka today while Del Potro was probably Djokovic’s biggest test before the final.
If he defeats Kyrgios he will play the winner of Querrey and Thiem. It’s been a difficult draw for Djokovic and it would be a great effort to come through it and win the tournament.