You knew right away on Monday that it was going to be a wild week at the QatarExxonMobil Open when Simone Bolelli showed enough mental fortitude to win a match in a third-set tiebreaker.
Tuesday did nothing to change such a notion. No. 1 seed David Ferrer unexpectedly had almost more than he could handle–quite literally–against Dustin Brown in a first-round showdown. After the underdog German seized a love break at 5-5 in the opening set, he saved two breaks and squandered two set points before finally closing things out with a clutch service hold.
If you thought the opener was interesting, the story of the day (and maybe the week) in the tennis world came three games later. With Brown serving at 1-2 in the second, this happened:
Not surprisingly, the incident invoked memories of the 2011 U.S. Open, when none other than Ferrer found himself playing against Andy Roddick on Louis Armstrong Stadium and the ol’ dreaded water bubble popped up. The match ended up being moved to Court 13. Naturally, Roddick was informed of Tuesday’s debacle and chimed in on Twitter:Javier Piles seemed amuse, but will he lock Ferrer in box for what happened?
You know there’s a problem when even Cedric Mourier is confused:
To much less surprise, Ferrer came back out and rolled the rest of the way. Brown did not exactly fade, but he missed two crucial break-point chances in the second set and Ferrer really heated up in the third, breaking three times. A high-quality affair saw the fifth-seeded Spaniard strike 28 winners to just 19 unforced errors while Brown blasted 47 winners to 34 mistakes.
Joining Ferrer in the second round is Gael Monfils, who missed four months late last season due to recurring knee problems. A 6-0, 6-3 victory over an unknown, 18-year-old wild card from Qatar doesn’t tell us much, but it can’t be a bad thing. Monfils will give us a much better gauge of his form when he faces Philipp Kohlschreiber on Wednesday.