Dubai R1 previews and predictions: Murray vs. Jaziri, Berdych vs. Rosol

Andy Murray will kick off his Dubai campaign with a first-round test against Malek Jaziri on Tuesday. An all-Czech affair, meanwhile, will see Tomas Berdych and Lukas Rosol square off in a big-hitting showdown.

(1) Andy Murray vs. Malek Jaziri

Murray and Jaziri will be going head-to-head for the second time in their careers when they clash in round one of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Tuesday. This marks Murray’s first appearance since a shocking fourth-round Australian Open loss to Mischa Zverev. The Scot ended last season on fire and capped it off with a title at the World Tour Finals to finish No. 1 in the world, but his 2017 campaign also includes a Doha final setback at he hands of Novak Djokovic.

Jaziri, who also fell to Zverev Down Under, is a decent 5-5 in ATP tournaments this year. The 51st-ranked Tunisian is coming off consecutive second-round performances in Montpellier (lost to Richard Gasquet) and Marseille (lost to Nick Kyrgios). Murray was less than 100 percent for 10 days following the Aussie Open due to a case of shingles, but he has been practicing in full force for the past two weeks. That almost certainly means it will be a short week for Jaziri in Dubai.

Pick: Murray in 2

(5) Tomas Berdych vs. (Q) Lukas Rosol

Berdych and Rosol will be squaring off for the third time in their careers when the two big Czechs meet again on Tuesday. Both of their previous encounters have gone Berdych’s way; 6-4, 6-2 on the indoor hard courts of Rotterdam in 2012 and 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 two seasons ago at the Indian Wells Masters.

Although Berdych has dipped to No. 14 in the world, his form has not been terrible in 2017–with losses only to Murray (Doha), Roger Federer (Australian Open), and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (Rotterdam) to go along with eight victories. It is Rosol who has completely fallen off the map at 161st in the rankings and he will be contesting his first main-draw match at the ATP level this season. He earned his place in the Dubai main draw by beating Ivan Dodig in three sets and Vincent Millot in straights. A steep step up and competition will likely be way too tough for Rosol, just as it has been in previous efforts against Berdych.

Pick: Berdych in 2

3 Comments on Dubai R1 previews and predictions: Murray vs. Jaziri, Berdych vs. Rosol

  1. Yep, Murray in 2 and Berd in 2…but wow, great men’s draw in both Acapulco and Dubai!!…and fun doubs draws as well.

  2. Good win Andy!!Now,with Rog already gone,hope Andy will win in Dubai..he needs this win very badly….C’mon Andy!!!

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