By Britwatch Team
- Top Seeds: Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Roger Federer, Gael Monfils
- Defending Champion: Stan Wawrinka
- British Interest: Murray, Dan Evans
- CLICK our featured players for stats from TennisAbstract
DUBAI, UAE – The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships continue with the men this week, and come in with a mouth-watering field, as Stan Wawrinka returns to defend his title.
Draw & Results
|Order of Play|
|Qualifying – SINGLES / DOUBLES|
‘Tis the season as one by one the world’s best players start to make their comeback to the tour after the Australian Open. First up of course is Murray who was stunned by Mischa Zverev in just the fourth round in Melbourne, but rejuventated after skipping Davis Cup, Murray hits the hard courts in Dubai (as well as the sand for a bit of beach tennis, with Roger Federer).
Three quarter-finals and a final are the sum of Murray’s accomplishments, as he returns to the tournament for the first time since 2015.
Talking to the ATP World Tour, Murray seemed up for the challenge of the tournament that has dominated by Novak Djokovic and Federer since 2009, with just defending champion Stan Wawrinka breaking the deadlock last year.
He said: “It was good fun today playing on the beach, I’ve never done that and the sun came out for us so that was a good start to the day. I enjoy coming to Dubai. I’ve played here a number of years. I feel refreshed and looking forward to competing again.”
He has a fairly comfortable looking draw and should be able to count on a deep run if he can get into his rhythm early.
Another one to make Dubai his port of call, and of course looking to make it two in a row, Wawrinka broke his first round duck with his first two appearances in 2006 and 2008 in quite some fashion with a dash to the title for the first time.
Wawrinka looks set to clash with Tomas Berdych as a quarter-final opponent. If the Czech isn’t hamming it up with one Swiss, lined up to play in the forthcoming Laver Cup, it remains to be seen whether he can capitalise in his last outing, which was the semi-finals in Rotterdam.
Having backed up his run to the Australian Open title in January, Federer has announced he intends to play in his home tournament of Basel until 2019, and has hotfooted it to the sands of Dubai from the snow in the Alps!
Still on nine! pic.twitter.com/rrpsHva8NT
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) February 18, 2017
He owner of a record seven titles in Dubai, he is galloping back up the rankings and surely has to be a firm favourite to be in the final on Saturday. Possibly awaiting him at the quarter-finals could be French talent Lucas Pouille who seems to be over his injury issues early this year, and has made a fine showing in Marseille over the week.
The Frenchman has already made his return to the tour, but is in need of a few wins, having gone out in Marseille in just his second match. He returns to Dubai for the first time since 2008 – where he was bounced out in the first round. He could come up against Britian’s Dan Evans in the second round, and looks to be facing Roberto Bautista Agut in the quarter-finals as he looks for a bit of form.
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships takes place between 27 February and 4 March – GMT + 4 hours)
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