Tennis fans are in for a real treat at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships next week, as arguably the best field ever assembled takes to the courts in a bid to claim the championship trophy and the US$409,170 winner’s cheque.
Headlining this year’s tournament is current world number one and defending three-time champion, Novak Djokovic. After a break-out year in 2011, the Serb has continued his amazing form, starting 2012 by successfully defending his Australian Open title in Melbourne last month.
Djokovic returns to Dubai aiming to become the first player in the history of the event to claim four successive titles.
Also returning to Dubai is Swiss ace and local favourite, Roger Federer. The former world-number one has a residence here and is a four-time winner of the title, raising the trophy in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2007.
Federer, who lost to Djokovic in last year’s final, has made a winning start to 2012, recently claiming career title number 71 with victory over Juan Martin del Potro in Rotterdam.
“We are delighted that Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, two of the most talented players ever to have played the game and winners of seven collective Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships are back to try and claim a piece of history,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman of Tournament owners and organisers Dubai Duty Free. “But while they are the only two players in the field to have won the title here in Dubai, this field boasts so much talent that any one of the players could be the one to lift the trophy on finals day.”
Ensuring the two favourites don’t have it all their own way, six of the remaining top ten ranked players in the world will be in Dubai, aiming to have their name engraved on the silverware for the first time. With such a star-studded line-up, the thousands of tennis fans who will converge on the Dubai Tennis Stadium will be witness to a thrilling sporting spectacular.
Leading the chasing pack is the ever-consistent Andy Murray. The talented Scot will be highly fancied having stretched Djokovic to five sets in an epic semi-final in Australia.
“There is so much talent in this year’s field, it would be naïve to think that either Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer are the only players capable of winning” said Tournament Director Salah Tahlak. “Jo-Wilfried Tsonga comes here after winning the title in Qatar and that form usually holds up pretty well here in Dubai. Then you have the likes of Tomas Berdych, Mardy Fish, Janko Tipsarevic and Juan Martin del Potro, all of whom have big games are quite capable of beating any player in the world on their day ” “What a fantastic tournament we have in front of us, it doesn’t get any better than this”.
All the action gets underway at the Dubai Tennis Stadium on Monday February 27, with the finals taking place on Saturday 3 March.
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is owned and organised by Dubai Duty Free and held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Tickets for the event are available from the Box Office at the Dubai Tennis Stadium, Garhoud which opens from 9am to 9pm daily.