The Spaniard is in impressive form at the moment. Last month he almost knocked out compatriot Rafael Nadal in a five-hour, 14-minute semi-final at the Australian Open. Ranked No9 in the world, the 25-year-old is a definite contender for the title.
The Frenchman is one of only eight players to have beaten both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer – that too at Masters Series events. He has been quietly climbing up the ranks with several good performances in the past year, and will certainly fancy his chances here.
Hounded by match-fixing allegations, the world No5 has struggled to produce his best in the past year. He seems to have put that behind him now and has started 2009 with renewed confidence.
The defending champion will no doubt be viewed favourably by neutral fans here if only for sentimental reasons. The American, who played in Abu Dhabi's Capitala World Tennis Championships and reached the final at the Qatar tournament last month, enjoys playing in this part of the world.
The doubles player will undoubtedly have plenty of media attention when he plays here having received his visa late on Thursday night, he will want to make a statement on court this week.
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