Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

February 19- March 4, 2023
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 19- March 4, 2023
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 27, 2023

Malek Jaziri retires from professional tennis at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

Malek Jaziri

Tunisian trailblazer made sure to play his last game in Dubai as a way of giving back to a tournament that he has appeared at 10 times and has a special place in his heart

Dubai, UAE – February 27, 2023: After a trailblazing career spanning 20 years, Tunisian Malek Jaziri called time on his playing career following his first-round exit at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Monday night. The 39-year-old, a Pan Arab Games gold medallist, lost to Alejandro Fokina of Spain 6-2, 6-0 on Centre Court before saying goodbye to an appreciate crowd.

Jaziri had been granted a wildcard to play in this year’s tournament, an event he has appeared at 10 times and become a firm fan favourite by reaching the semi-finals in 2018. On Monday, he started well, holding serve twice and leading 40-15 in his third service game, but his opponent – ranked World No.31 – fought back to break. Jaziri never won another game as Fokina closed out the set before delivering the Tunisian a bagel for the match.


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“He played a good game and was much better physically for sure,” Jaziri said. “I’m not in my best shape, so he tried to make me move a little bit.”

Jaziri was determined to play his last professional match in front of his fans at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, and thanked Tournament Director Salah Tahlak for making it happen. A finalist at Istanbul in 2018, his run to the final four in Dubai saw him beat the likes of Grigor Dimitrov and Stefanos Tsitsipas before losing to eventual winner Roberto Bautista Agut. He also faced Roger Federer here in 2013; Novak Djokovic in 2016; and Andy Murray in 2017.

Jaziri Tsitsipas
Malek Jaziri at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in 2018

MORE: Malek Jaziri Reflects On Semi-final Run In Dubai

“Dubai is a special place for me and a place where I have a lot of good memories,” he said. “That’s why I wanted to finish here in Dubai. I played most of the world No.1s here, most of the tournament’s No.1 seeds, all these flashbacks came to me today.”

MORE: Feature: Malek Jaziri Feels At Home In Dubai

Reflecting on an illustrious career in which he flew the flag for the Arab World, became the first Tunisian to reach a ATP Tour semi-final, and achieved a career-high world ranking of No.42, said he has no regrets.

“I wanted to be in the Top 100,” Jaziri said. “I never had anyone before me to say I want to be Top 20, top 10 or No. 1. I dreamt only to be Top 100 and I made Top 50, so I made it. I did everything by myself.”

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