DUBAI, February 26, 2016
Djokovic’s eye problem and Federer’s knee injury have opened the door for other players to go deep in the draw and a new champion will be crowned at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships when the tournament’s number two Stan Wawrinka and unseeded Marco Baghdatis will meet in the final.
Wawrinka won his semi-final match on Friday when Nick Kyrgios was forced to retire with a back injury after 44 minutes. The world number four from Switzerland was leading 6-4, 3-0.
“I couldn’t really serve anywhere near my full capacity today,” explained the injured Kyrgios. “He was playing great, anyway. He was playing really aggressive off the second shot of his serve.”
Wawrinka was happy to reach the final, as he had been two points from defeat in his opening match against Segiy Stakhovsky. “For sure if you look from the beginning of the week I was not playing great at all,” he said. “But that’s when I can still improve and I’m happy I did this week – not playing some great tennis, frustrated during matches, but still fighting and trying to find solutions to win more matches during the week to play better.”
Marcos Baghdatis knocked out sixth seed Feliciano López, winning 3-6, 7-6, 6-1. The 30-year-old from Cyprus sent down eight aces and capitalized on five of his nine break point chances to prevail in two hours and one minute.
Baghdatis is going to appear in his first final since Atlanta 2015 and is seeking his first title on the ATP World Tour since lifting the trophy in Sydney in 2010. Wawrinka captured the title in Chennai earlier this season. The pair will meet for the sixth time with the Swiss leading 5-0 in head to head records. The last match between the two took place at London’s Queen’s Club in 2014.