Qualifier Sergei Bubka upsets fifth seeded Ivan Ljubicic in 2011 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships
Monday saw the first exit of a seeded player in the 2011 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship as fifth seeded, Ivan Ljubicic, retired during his match against Ukrainian qualifier, Sergei Bubka.
A finalist here in 2005, the Croat was making his seventh appearance at the event. However, an injury ended Ljubicic’s chances of a title here while he was trailing the Ukrainian in the set score. Playing for the first time ever, Bubka had dominated Ljubicic
from the start. Going for anything and everything, Bubka assaulted the Croat with everything he had, managing to successfully convert two of four break points. Losing only six of 22 points on service, the 342nd ranked Ukrainian was able to clinch
a breadstick win for in only 30 minutes.
Trailing the set score, Ljubicic tried to get the second set off to a good start. Holding his serve for only the second time in the game, Ljubicic was able to go 1-0 in the set. However, soon after the Croat cited a knee injury and procured retirement from
the match, giving Bubka an automatic win and a pass into the second round.
The Ukrainian moves on ahead to play Frenchman Richard Gasquet. Unseeded in the event, Gasquet had been merciless on the Bulgarian qualifier, Grigor Dimitrov, in the pair’s first round match. In their first meeting ever, Gasquet broke Dimitrov’s service
early, securing a 4-1 lead. Holding his footing, Gasquet closed the opener with a 6-2 win, going one up in the set score.
The second set saw some resistance from the Bulgarian. Going toe to toe with the Frenchman, Dimitrov kept the score tied for eight games. It was only in the ninth game that Gasquet was able to break serve and then striking a powerful ace at match point,
he was able to clinch a 6-4 win sealing his straight sets victory against Dimitrov.
Taking a little over an hour, Gasquet struck nine aces to Dimitrov’s three and lost only ten of forty nine points on service. Successfully converting three of seven break opportunities, Gasquet was able to move on ahead in the event.
It was two for two for the qualifiers with two of four making it through to the next round. Joining Bubka in the next round is the Czech qualifier Lukas Rosol. Playing Slovak qualifier, Karol Beck, the pair engaged in a neck to neck battle in the opener,
pushing the set into a tiebreaker. However, breaking Beck’s spirit, Rosol was able to overpower the Slovak and clinch a quick 7-2 win in the tiebreaker. Maintaining his form, Rosol was able to follow up with a 6-3 win in the second set and ensure his survival
at the event.
In a match that lasted almost ninety minutes, Rosol served a resounding total of fourteen aces. Losing only 15 points on service Rosol enjoyed a straight sets win for himself. The Czech moves on ahead to play either fourth seeded Mikhail Youzhny or Frenchman