Novak Djokovic gets up close and personal with the falcon. Image Credit: Megan Hirons Mahon, Gulf News

It took a while for the media scrum to subside, but once it did, the 2010 Barclay's Dubai Tennis Championships men's player's party got underway.

The first flurry of flashes and excited yelps from nearby women came as Britain's Andy Murray by-passed the drinks counter and headed straight for the falcon on Tuesday night.

Surrounded by people wanting autographs and photos, the world number four took it all in his stride and obliged happily.

Next up was a fleeting visit from Roger Federer, who is enjoying a break in Dubai after he was forced to pull out of the tournament for the second year running due to illness.

Extra security was drafted in to help the world number one to his table, but it all proved too difficult and the tennis star left the party with an empty stomach.

Novak Djokovic and his girlfriend Jelena Ristic arrived as Murray chatted with Ian Bell and other members of the English Twenty20 cricket team.

Marin Cilic, enjoying a great run up the ranking tables this year, was keen to hold the falcon (which proved strangely popular this year), along with his younger brother who is visiting him on the tour.

Mikhail Youzhny, Tommy Robredo and Nikolay Davydenko also put in appearances.

But it was Jo-Wilfried Tsonga that people were really waiting for. Sadly he failed to make it down to the 18-year anniversary celebrations on the lawns of the Aviation Club. Having played on Centre Court, beating fellow Frenchman Michaël Llodra, from 7pm earlier that night, he probably had good reason for a well-deserved rest.