DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Novak Djokovic opened the defence of his Dubai Championships title with a straight sets victory over Denis Istomin, while second-seeded Juan Martin del Potro had to retire from his first-round match on Tuesday. Top-seeded Djokovic, who is making only his second appearance this year after reaching the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, was a 6-3, 6-3 winner over 54th-ranked Istomin of Uzbekistan. "It wasnt as easy as the scoreline indicates," said Djokovic, who has won in Dubai on four occasions. "I needed to work for my games. "Having not played for more than four, five weeks, an official match, obviously it takes its toll on the court." Djokovic saved all four break points he faced on serve and broke Istomin three times -- in the third and ninth games of the first set and in the second game of the second set. Del Potro was not so fortunate, being forced to retire against Somdev Devvarman of India after losing the first-set tiebreaker 7-6 (3). Since winning the Sydney title last month, Del Potro has been struggling with a left wrist injury that has conjured up memories of similar pain he experienced in his right wrist four years ago. In 2010, the year after he won the U.S. Open, he played only three tournaments before and after surgery on his right wrist. Del Potro was fighting back tears in Dubai when he came to talk to the media after his retirement. "I dont feel really well," he said. "My wrist is hurting a lot and everybody knows what happened to me four years ago with my other wrist. "It was really tough to play today. I tried everything. I cannot be the player I would like to be." Having felt the pain in his left wrist during the Australian Open, Del Potro went at the end of January to consult with Dr. Richard Berger, who performed his right wrist surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. The doctor recommended a course of physical therapy. Asked if he would have kept playing if he won the first set, Del Potro said: "I dont think so, no. It was hurting too much." Devvarman, a wild card who won a challenger in New Delhi last week, hit a service winner on his third set point in the tiebreaker. That proved to be the final point of the match. "Its unfortunate, especially for a guy like him," Devvarman said. "I realized he wasnt comfortable hitting backhands and I tried to make him hit as many as I could, and he wasnt really hitting over it so I knew he wasnt happy." Third-seeded Tomas Berdych extended his winning streak to eight matches with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Romanian qualifier Marius Copil. Berdych, who reached the final in Dubai last year, won the Rotterdam title two weeks ago. Fifth-seeded Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France secured a 6-2, 6-4 win over Victor Hanescu of Romania. Romelu Lukaku Jersey
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. Bale has had a successful debut season in Spain, and Ancelotti appears ready to reward him with a starting role on Saturday. Ancelotti says "Gareth had some problems at the beginning (of the season) but when he found good physical condition he scored a lot of goals, he had a good impact on the team.FLACHAU, Austria - In the final slalom before her home world championship, Mikaela Shiffrin can become the first American skier to rack up three straight World Cup wins in the discipline.Shiffrin, from Vail, Colorado, has won the night race in Austria the past two years, and starts as a clear favourite again Tuesday after dominating the recent events in Kuehtai and Zagreb.The 19-year-old Olympic champion posted the fastest time in all four runs of those events to shrug off a two-month period of equipment troubles and poor results.She seems to be turning things around at the right time, while also dealing with personnel changes around her.Tuesdays race is Shiffrins second without her long-term coach Roland Pfeifer, who has been removed from the womens technical team.According to the Alpine director of the U.S. ski team, Patrick Riml, the coach had been focusing too much on his most successful athlete.We have more athletes on the technical team, and they also belong to the team, Riml said. Its important to have a good atmosphere in the team, that they all work together and with each other.For the past 3 1/2 years, Pfeifer had been instrumental to Shiffrins rise to the top.The 50-year-old Austrian, a former professional skier who specialized in slalom and giant slalom, led the team since 2011, the same year Shiffrin made her debut on the World Cup.Under Pfeifers guidance, Shiffrin won two crystal globes for the most successful slalom skier of the World Cup season, the world title, and Olympic gold.Roland has done a great job, Riml said. He will switch to the mens side. He is a top coach.Still, Riml said it was better for everyone involved to separate Pfeifer and Shiffrin, even if the timing has not been ideal, with the world championship slalom and GS less than four weeks away.ddddddddddddOnly if all the girls on the team are happy and the coaches are co-operating well, results will come, said Riml, who hasnt replaced Pfeifer but will be travelling himself with the womens team for the rest of the season.Riml said he will also try to intensify the co-operation between the technical and the speed team.That could help Shiffrin, who wants to start competing in super-Gs in the near future and, eventually, downhill races.And Shiffrin can still work with her own small group of people, most notably her mother Eileen.Eileen is part of the team, no doubt, Riml said. Eileen has been there since day one and she is still there. She is very important to Mikaela, she is a pillar to the whole system.Shiffrin also emphasized how important harmony in the team is to her.I learned a lot about the people around me, she said. And how my entire team handles the stress of not winning, or not reaching my potential, it puts stress on really everybody. Whether they say that or not, I know its there and I felt a lot of pressure in November. It got to me a little bit.After her two recent wins, Shiffrin is now eager to make it three in a row before defending her world slalom title on Feb. 14.I cant wait, she said. I love it that were going to have so much time to train, to prepare. And some time to rest and energize and then go out and hammer some training. By the time we race, anything can happen. That makes it very exciting for everybody. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
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