27 February 2017 -- Dubai, UAE: The second week of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships got underway in bright sunshine on Monday after the rain that dogged the WTA event finally moved away. Excitement is especially high this week as over the coming days the tournament celebrates 25 years as one of the highlights of the ATP World Tour.
Philipp Kohlschreiber is now within two matches of achieving a remarkable 400 career singles victories after beating Gilles Muller 6-4 7-6(1), and Marcel Granollers lined up a possible second round clash with defending champion and number two seed Stan Wawrinka by breezing past Jiri Vesely 6-3 6-2. The result leaves Vesely without a singles win in his two visits to Dubai, although he did reach the doubles semi-finals in 2016.
Kohlschreiber, who reached the semi-finals in 2014 and was a quarter-finalist last year, made a positive start. He forced Muller, who last month won his first career title in Sydney, to fight off two break points in the opening game before breaking serve to lead 2-1. That was enough to earn him the first set, and a huge forehand winner gave him a break to lead 3-2 in the second. Muller managed to level at 4-4 and came within two points of winning the set at 6-5 before Kohlschreiber claimed the tiebreak.
Four players have come through the qualifying rounds to reach the main draw. They are Lukas Rosol, Evgeny Donskoy, Denis Istomin and Marius Copil. Rosol will face fifth seed Tomas Berdych, Donskoy plays two-time Dubai finalist Mikhail Youzhny, Istomin takes on Robin Haase and Copil tackles Jan-Lennard Struff.
"The 25th staging of the ATP event at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is underway and after a thrilling women's tournament we can look forward to another wonderful week featuring the best of the ATP World Tour," said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free, the tournament owners and organisers. "With so many top players bidding for the title we can expect many excellent battles as each fights for the right to hold the trophy aloft."
Tournament director Salah Tahlak added, "We have several of the very best players in the world competing in Dubai this week, including the reigning Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open champions. There are also several others who have achieved great success and who have claimed victories over the very best in the game. It should be a fascinating week."
Play continues until 4th March and includes Wimbledon, Olympic and ATP Finals champion and ATP world number one Andy Murray, Australian Open champion and seven-time Dubai winner Roger Federer, defending Dubai champion and reigning US Open champion Stan Wawrinka, two-time Dubai finalist Tomas Berdych and the entertaining Gael Monfils.
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 are still available from the Box Office at the Dubai Tennis Stadium, Garhoud which opens from 9am to 9pm daily. Tickets are also available online through www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com/en/tickets. For further information about tickets, prices and the tournament visit www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com.