Instead of playing a tennis match atop the helipad at Dubai's Al Arab hotel, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic posed for photos with a grasping handshake that looked like the final shot of their inevitable buddy-cop comedy, "Tango & Cash 2: Love Hurts."
Seven years ago, the helipad at the seven-star hotel was transformed into a tennis court that hosted a brief, terrifying Federer and Andre Agassi hitting session. This time around, the promotion for the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships were less daredevil-like. The two stars posed for some pictures, sat for an interview along with tournament officials and looked at a huge "20" spelled out on the 693-foot high helipad, a nod to the tournament's 20th anniversary.
Federer, like one of those reality show contestants who scores screen time in confessionals by saying exactly what producers want to hear, sung the praises of Dubai's annual event.
"The tournament has won awards thanks to the people sitting here with us, and they deserve it," he said. "The organization is really well done and every time we come back I think there's more of a buzz in the city. The top players in particular love coming here and they always have a great time."
Andy Murray posed for a different set of photos at the famed Burj Khalifa in Dubai. He juggled a soccer ball alone on a makeshift pitch on the observation deck. They put Andy Murray on top of the tallest building in the world and couldn't have given him someone to kick with? I know Tom Cruise was presenting at The Oscars but surely someone could have volunteered to repel into Murray's room. Gael Monfils totally would have been down.