Swiss master Roger Federer will be looking to continue his scintillating season-opening form when he heads to Dubai in search of a fifth title at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships next month.
The 16-time Grand Slam winner is just one of an array of stars, including three of the world’s top five players, who will be making a return to Dubai for the region’s only ATP 500 tour event, from February 21 to 26 at the Dubai Tennis Stadium.
The championships is held under the patronage of His Higness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Play begins on February 14 with the WTA Tour event and continues with the ATP tournament.
Joining Federer in the men’s tournament will be another of the city’s favourite stars, Andy Murray. The plucky Scot who famously defeated Federer in the first round of the 2008 tournament will be looking to get his hands on the Dubai trophy for the first time, while likely to be standing in his way will be a man who is no stranger to silverware in Dubai – defending champion Novak Djokovic.
The 2008 Australian Open champion from Serbia has in fact claimed top honours in Dubai for the last two years and will be going all out to take a third consecutive title, so equalling the record currently held by Federer.
Also making things interesting in the men’s lineup will be another top 10-ranked player – Tomas Berdych from the Czech Republic who reached the final of Wimbledon last year where he finished runner-up to world number one Rafael Nadal.
Berdych last played in Dubai in 2008 when he lost out in the second round to Spain’s Feliciano Lopez, who eventually went on to reach the final.
Another top 10 player making a return to Dubai is Mikhail Youzhny of Russia who reached last year’s final where he narrowly lost out to Djokovic.
Other top names that are likely to draw the crowds are Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, Russia’s Nikolay Davydenko (one of very few players in the world who boasts a winning record against Nadal) and Croatia’s Ivan Ljubicic – a quarter-finalist in last year’s tournament.
“Once again we are thrilled to announce such an incredible lineup of stars who will be gracing the courts at the Dubai Tennis Stadium next month,” said Colm McLoughlin, Managing Director Dubai Duty Free.
“Dubai is annually treated to a fascinating fortnight of action when the best in the world vie for top honours at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, which we are proud to say comprises the region’s only WTA Premier 5 and ATP 500 tour event.
“I have no doubt this year’s tournament will once again serve up a feast of excitement,” added McLoughlin.
Tickets for the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships went on sale on Monday from the Box Office at the Dubai Tennis Stadium, Garhoud which opens from 10am until 9pm daily, as well as from Time Out Tickets online at www.timeouttickets.com.
For further information about tickets, prices and the tournament, visit www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com or phone the call centre on +971 4 358 9797.
Grandstand tickets for both the WTA and ATP events are priced at Dh50 for the opening rounds rising to Dh250 for the finals.