Tennis: Davis Cup team off to Sweden

Djokovic beats Ferrer to take Dubai title.

Dudi Sela 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
Dudi Sela 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
Israel's Davis Cup team will step up its preparations on Sunday for this coming weekend's World Group first round tie against Sweden. Dudi Sela, who lost 7-6 (7), 6-3 to Marcos Baghdatis in the second round of the Delray Beach International Championships late Thursday night, will fly to Sweden directly from the US with captain Eyal Ran, with Harel Levy and Noam Okun leaving for Malmo from Israel on Sunday. Andy Ram will join the team on Monday. On Friday, Sela was outlasted by his close childhood friend Baghdatis. The Cypriot led 5-0 in the first-set tiebreaker, but Sela refused to give up without a fight and held one set point. In the second set, Baghdatis raced to a 5-0 lead but lost the next three games before closing out the match. "He wasn't going to give up and I'm pretty happy I won," said Baghdatis, coming off an injury-plagued 2008. Novak Djokovic won his first title of the season Saturday, beating David Ferrer of Spain 7-5, 6-3 in the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships. The third-ranked Djokovic finished off Ferrer with an ace that was that was originally called out but challenged by the Serb. "That was an unusual way to finish the match, and something like this has never happened to me before," Djokovic said. "But what worked for me during the match was that I mixed the pace well, which I think, David does not like at all." Djokovic was playing in his first final this year. He won the Australian Open in 2008, but in this year's tournament, he retired against Andy Roddick in the quarterfinals. "This was a tough match because David is a very tough opponent," Djokovic said. "He is one of the hardest working players on the tour, and he just keeps running down every ball. He makes you earn every point."