Murray falls in Dubai Open 2nd round

DUBAI: The cull of leading players at the Dubai Open continued in spectacular fashion as Australian Open finalist Andy Murray, Nikolay Davydenko, and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga all fell in the second round on Wednesday.

With Roger Federer having announced his withdrawal on Sunday, and Gilles Simon being beaten in the first round, it means that only three of the eight seeds have made it through to the quarter-finals of the two million dollar ATP event.

Even for a trio to survive it required Novak Djokovic, the new favourite in Australian Open champion Federer''s absence, to recover from a set and 2-3 down against his Serbian compatriot, Viktor Troicki, eventually winning 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Davydenko, the ATP World Tour champion, had a damaged wrist, causing his retirement after losing the first set 6-3 to Michael Berrer, Tsonga has been unwell, and Murray suggested that trying new tactical combinations had contributed to his exit.

The world number three from Britain was beaten by yet another Serbian, Janko Tipsarevic, whose thrillingly unpredictable 7-6 (7/3), 4-6, 6-4, success followed a dramatic see-saw path and had a great finish.

The fifth-seeded Frenchman lost 7-5, 6-3 to Ivan Ljubicic, the former world number three, who was in assertive mood with a big serve which was once the most successful on the tour. Ljubicic was also typically generous with his comments.