UAE

Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark Knowles lost quarterfinals of Dubai Tennis Championship

Mahesh Bhupathi and Mark KnowlesRik De Voest of South Africa and Dmitry Tursunov

ROUNDUP: Djokovic confidence rising after first title of season

Djokovic confidence rising after first title of seasonDubai, UAE  - Novak Djokovic gave his confidence a huge boost on Saturday as he tuned up for next week's Davis Cup tie with Spain with a trophy at the Barclays Championships 7-5, 6-3 over David Ferrer.

The Serb top seed said that prior to the upcoming challenge on clay in front of a Spanish crowd of 15,000 in Benidorm, he feels his game is lifting after securing his first title of a slow-starting 2009 season.

Djokovic won an event which was decimated by late withdrawals, including former winners Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

Djokovic denies Ferrer to win Dubai title

Djokovic denies Ferrer to win Dubai titleDubai, UAE  - Novak Djokovic overcame a patchy effort littered with breaks of serve before lifting his first title of 2009 with a 7-5, 6-3 win over David Ferrer at the Barclays Championships on Saturday.

The Serb world number 3 improved to 4-3 against Spain's scampering Ferrer, the second finalist from his nation in as many years at the Aviation club after Feliciano Lopez lost in 2008 to Andy Roddick.

The match was a preview of next weekend's Davis Cup World Group tie in Spain.

1ST LEAD: Murray mowed down by virus, quits before Dubai match

1ST LEAD: Murray mowed down by virus, quits before Dubai matchDubai, UAE - Andy Murray was heading home to London on Friday for urgent rest and recuperation after pulling out before his Barclays Championships quarter-final on Thursday with a virus that he's carried for a month or more.

The Scottish second seed said that he has felt poorly since playing in January's Australian Open, with a brief respite a fortnight ago when he won the Rotterdam title over Rafael Nadal.

Simon spells the end of the Santoro era in Dubai

Asian ace plays through pain and into Indy quartersDubai, UAE - Gilles Simon ushered Fabrice Santoro out of the Barclays Championships for the final time on Thursday with a 7-6 (7-3), 6-1 quarter-final victory.

The popular Santoro, 36, is hanging up his racket next November at Paris Bercy, and has played his concluding match in the emirate where he began with the event 17 years ago as a runner-up.

ROUNDUP: Djokovic, Murray lead seeded Dubai sweep

 Djokovic, Murray lead seeded Dubai sweepDubai, UAE  - Novak Djokovic survived a fright to join Andy Murry with a win into the quarter-finals of the Barclays Championships on Wednesday as he overcame determined Czech Jan Hernych 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.

The challenger, who won just four matches on the ATP last season, gave the top seed a battle before Djokovic pulled through.

"He put up a great fight and had nothing to lose. You can't always perform at your best but it's important to stay focussed. I was able to do that tonight," said the winner.

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