We'll start with Dubai. Some interesting quotes by Federer and Safin. Sounds like a great match. And I was quite pleased that Rafa beat Max; I didn't think he would on a hardcourt. RESULTS - TUESDAY, MARCH 2, 2004 Singles - First Round (1)R Federer (SUI) d (WC)M Safin (RUS) 76(2) 76(4) M Youzhny (RUS) d (2)G Coria (ARG) 46 63 64 J Nieminen (FIN) d (4)D Nalbandian (ARG) 63 64 (8)S Schalken (NED) d S Sargsian (ARM) 63 61 T Robredo (ESP) d J Bjorkman (SWE) 64 64 F Santoro (FRA) d A Martin (ESP) 63 67(7) 64 F Lopez (ESP) d N Davydenko (RUS) 64 63 R Nadal (ESP) d M Mirnyi (BLR) 63 76(6) Doubles - First Round Kohlmann/Schuettler d (WC)Bahrouzyan/Nader 61 63 DRAWS For the Dubai singles draw, go to: http://www.atptennis.com/posting/2004/495/MDS.pdf For the Dubai doubles draw, go to: http://www.atptennis.com/posting/2004/495/MDD.pdf ORDER OF PLAY - WEDNESDAY, MARCH 3, 2004 Centre Court start 2:00 PM (7)P Srichaphan (THA) vs D Hrbaty (SVK) O Rochus (BEL) vs R Nadal (ESP) Starting at 7:00 PM F Santoro (FRA) vs (8)S Schalken (NED) Black/Ullyett vs (2)Bjorkman/Paes Court 1 start 2:00 PM (Q)D Van Scheppingen (NED) vs M Youzhny (RUS) J Nieminen (FIN) vs G Carraz (FRA) Hanley/Zimonjic vs Hrbaty/Knowle Nadal/Robredo vs (3)Knowles/Nestor Court 2 start 2:00 PM (4)Damm/Suk vs Pala/Vizner Davydenko/Lopez vs Rochus/Safin ATP MEDIA NOTES - TUESDAY, MARCH 2, 2004 FEDERER HOLDS OUT SAFIN IN TOUGH FIRST ROUND INDESIT ATP 2004 Race leader Roger Federer repeated his Australian Open final victory over Marat Safin Tuesday to advance to the second round of the Dubai Tennis Championships. Making his first appearance since his 16-match winning streak was halted in the Rotterdam quarterfinals, Federer defeated the Russian 7-6(2) 7-6(4). Federer defeated Jiri Novak in the 2003 Dubai final. Federer's win restored some order on a day when second seed Guillermo Coria and fourth seed David Nalbandian lost their respective first-round matches to Mikhail Youzhny and Jarkko Nieminen. Youzhny avenged three crushing losses to Coria in 2003 - including a 6-0, 6-0 demolition in Stuttgart - with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory. In those three defeats last year in Hamburg, Stuttgart and Cincinnati, Youzhny won just nine games in six sets. After beginning the season with a disappointing 1-4 record, the Russian is now one win away from reaching his second quarterfinal in three tournaments (Milan). Nieminen also exacted some revenge for two tight losses to David Nalbandian in 2003, including a fifth-set tie-break loss at the US Open. The Finn took advantage of Nalbandian's lack of match practice - he had played just one Davis Cup match since the Australian Open - to defeat the fourth seed 6-3, 6-3. Eighth seed Sjeng Schalken improved to 10-4 on the season with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Sargis Sargsian. WHAT THE PLAYERS SAID Federer: "I served well when it got important. It was tough on the body, we had some long rallies. The conditions are very heavy and it's tough to hit winners here. But I thought it was a good match, good crowd." On his position as No.1: "I was very close to No.1 last year but now it feels different as I've won so many big titles and I'm more confident. I think I'm handling the pressure pretty well." On Safin: "He's had a great start to the year. He has set himself No.1 as a goal for the year. For me he's already back but on the computer he is not back quite yet, but that will happen soon." On who his rivals are: "All the young guys that are already at the top of the rankings. There will always be surprises. Dominik Hrbaty already who has won three titles which is amazing and then you never know with some youngsters who could break through in the Grand Slams and be at the top of the rankings." Safin: "I felt much better today. I just got a bit unlucky in the tiebreaks and I had my chances to break him in the games and I couldn't take them. When he had chances he took them. The tie-break is a lottery. I was a bit unlucky today." On playing Federer in the first round: "You have to beat good players to get to the final. Unfortunately I had him in the first round but it was quite a challenge for me. I had a chance to beat him and I thought I could win today." On the crowd: "I was surprised that the stadium was so full on a Tuesday night. It was a really good crowd and we got good support to play well." On getting back to the top level: "It is more of a mental thing than physical, just believing in yourself that you can come back, that you can play well and get back to your best level. One year of vacations helped me a lot, to rethink a few things and now I feel a lot more motivated than I did before." Nalbandian: "I am recovering from my ankle injury and don't feel so good yet. I tried everything I could but it wasn't enough today. I couldn't move so well today which is a big problem for my game. He played good today too." Youzhny: On his serve: "When you serve it makes everything a lot easier. Coria didn't play too badly but in the last set he made more mistakes on return especially in the last game. In the last game I tried to serve very aggressively which is why I had a few double faults." On Coria: "If you can't hit winners you cannot beat Coria. He doesn't make any mistakes and gets everything back. But he can also hit winners which is why he is No. 4 in the rankings." "I lost to him three times last year easily. Once it was 6-0, 6-0, so I'm very happy now. Of course when you beat top players, you are very happy." Coria: "I didn't play very well and didn't take my chances in the second set. It's very disappointing as I had high hopes of winning this title." On why he came to Dubai: "I wanted to improve my hard court game and there are more ranking points at this tournament. He was told it was a great city and wanted to make the most of the opportunity to come here." "I changed my service action in December and injured myself. I had to go back to my old service action and don't have much confidence in this serve. Youzhny returns very well so it's hard to win unless you serve well throughout the whole match." On traveling with his wife: "It's very important to have her with me as she gives me great support. When she needs to study she stays in Argentina and if not, she will travel with me." Nieminen: "It feels great as we had some tough matches, especially last year at the US Open where I lost 7-6 in the fifth set. It was nice to get the revenge. I changed the tempo well, and mixed up my serve well. I like the conditions here." "It's one of my best victories. I've beaten Safin and Moya and this is also one of my best victories." On his expectations in the tournament: "I play against Carraz next. I played him once and lost to him in three tight sets in the first round of Stockholm last year. He's a tough player; he has a great serve and volley game. Last week he beat Ferrero so he's playing well at the moment. It will be a tight match." WEDNESDAY MATCHES Dominik Hrbaty leads the ATP circuit with 17 match wins and three titles on the season. On Wednesday he will attempt to snap a two-match losing streak against Paradorn Srichaphan, who in contrast is searching for form and confidence after consecutive first-round losses in Rotterdam and Marseille. Hrbaty won the Marseille title last week to add to the Adelaide and Auckland titles he won in the first two weeks of the year. By winning last week Hrbaty became the first player since Ivan Lendl in 1990 to win three tournaments before the month of March. Lendl won the Australian Open, Milan and Toronto indoor. Diminutive Belgian Olivier Rochus took out Mark Philippoussis in the first round and now meets fast-rising Spanish teenager Rafael Nadal. Nadal reached his first ATP final in Auckland in the second week of the season (l. to Hrbaty) and is 9-5 on the year. Fabrice Santoro snapped a three-match losing streak at ATP level when he defeated Alberto Martin to reach the second round. On Wednesday the Frenchman will play Dutchman Sjeng Schalken, who won their two meetings last season. Santoro's last two titles have come in Dubai in 2002 and Doha in 2000. Schalken has won at least one title a year for eight of the past nine years (missing in 1998). Last season he won two titles in a season for the first time: 's-Hertogenbosch and Costa do Sauipe.