Juan Martin Del Potro is hoping to do at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships what he once did at the US Open.
At one stage the Grand Slams were being dominated by Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, but in 2009 he beat them both in New York to break their monopoly and win his first Grand Slam title.
Now, with Federer and Novak Djokovic dominating here in Dubai by claiming the title in nine of the last 11 years, the affable Argentine is ready to do a repeat of 2009 and put his name on the winners' board.
This is his third straight year competing at one of the strongest events staged outside of the Grand Slams, and his two previous visits saw him reach the semifinals before, ironically, losing to Federer in 2012 and Djokovic in 2013.
With victories last season against Djokovic at Indian Wells and Federer in the Basel final, as well as Nadal in Shanghai, Del Potro knows he has what it takes to beat the best in the world and add a Dubai triumph to his already impressive portfolio.
“Juan Martin Del Potro often gets overlooked when people talk of the great champions over the last decade, but he has proved over and over again that he can defeat anyone who crosses his path,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman of tournament owners and organisers Dubai Duty Free.
“Indeed, with not only the US Open to his name but 17 other titles as well as his two semifinals here in Dubai, we can expect him to offer the strongest possible challenge once again.”
Del Potro ended 2013 with four titles and began the 2014 season by beating defending champion Bernard Tomic to lift the Sydney trophy, and he will be hungry to rebound after his shocking second round defeat in Melbourne against Roberto Bautista Agut.
“I think I did a great season,” said Del Potro at the end-of-year ATP World Tour Finals 2013. “I finish in the top five, which is really good to see my ranking and see my name in the top positions.
“It was my goal, trying to play in the same level as the top guys and I beat all of them. I am the only player who beat all of them in this season, which means something for me.”
Tournament Director Salah Tahlak said: “We are looking forward to seeing Del Potro in action again, he is a serious threat for the title. Although he has demonstrated that he can beat all-comers, he will still face a strong challenge from a field that includes not only Djokovic and Federer, but Australian Open semifinalist Tomas Berdych and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, so we are in for some exciting tennis.”
Play in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships begins with the WTA event, which takes place between February 17 and 22 and features six of the world’s top 10, including defending champion Petra Kvitova and former winners Caroline Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska.
Play then continues between February 24 and March 1 with the action-packed ATP tournament.
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is owned and organised by Dubai Duty Free, and held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Tickets for the event are on sale from the Box Office at the Dubai Tennis Stadium, Garhoud which is open from 9am to 9pm daily. Grandstand ticket prices range from Dh75 for opening rounds to Dh500 for finals, with season tickets also available.
For further information about tickets, prices and the tournament visit http://www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com or phone the call centre on
+971 4 4172415.
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