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Fed rules in Dubai, while a star is Born(a)

  Borna Ćorić served notice by beating Andy Murray at the Dubai Championships. The 18-year-old Croat is now the youngest man in the Top 100.

Borna Ćorić served notice by beating Andy Murray at the Dubai Championships. The 18-year-old Croat is now the youngest man in the Top 100.

Well, you’ve got to hand it to Fed. Not that I want to, but give him props for beating Nole in straight sets to win his seventh Dubai Championships.

By all accounts, Roger Federer put on a clinic for the win. I would think he would have to. I don’t think the Federinas should read too much into this, though. This was the best two out of three sets. I don’t think Feddy is ever going to be NoDjo (How’s that for a new nickname for Nole?) best of five sets again. Wimbledon 2014 was his shot. Certainly, Fed’s not going to beat Nole in a Grand Slam final. But yeah, he can beat him in other tournaments because he’s that good, he doesn’t have to go five sets and Nole’s that streaky.

In other tournament news, Andy Murray dropped to No. 5 in the ATP rankings after losing in Dubai to Borna Ćorić, who is the latest New Guy to cause a sensation, all at the ripe old age of 18. Ćorić, who then promptly lost to Fed, is supposed to be Baby Nole the way Grigor Dimitrov (What’s he doing?) is Baby Fed.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal’s been mowing down minor players on the clay court circuit in South America after taking in Mardi Gras in Rio de Janiero. Is this how Rafa’s going to play it, focus on clay and avoid the top guys on the other surfaces? It’s not the way to get past Nole and Fed in the rankings, and it’s certainly not the way to become the greatest player of his generation.

To my mind, if you want to be the best, you have to meet the best – head on.