Janko Tipsarevic takes on Nikolay Davydenko today in the first round of the 2013 Dubai Tennis Championships (10:00 GMT start).
Tipsarevic and Davydenko are level at 2-2 on the head-to-head, with Tipsarevic winning their last meeting 6-2 7-5 in Kuala Lumpur two years ago. However, during that period Davydenko was still seriously struggling for form after fracturing his wrist in early 2010.
Davydenko has shown signs of a revival at the start of 2013, reaching the Doha final and beating David Ferrer, but he's come unstuck during the indoor season, losing early in Montpellier, Rotterdam and Marseille. The Russian will be happy to be back on outdoor hard courts again, a surface where it's far harder to outhit him from the back of the court.
He'll be sensing an opportunity today as Tipsarevic has also been struggling since reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open. The Serb crashed out in Rotterdam to Michael Llodra and in Marseille to Dmitry Tursunov and he's not his usual self right now on the court.
Both men have fairly average records in Dubai. Davydenko did make the semi-finals back in 2008, but Tipsareic has never been past the quarter-finalss. This one will be a real slugfest and could last some time with both men being excellent movers.
Prediction: Davydenko in three.