Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
(L-R) Lorenzo Musetti; Malek Jaziri; Salah Tahlak, Tournament Director; Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO, Dubai Duty Free; Nasser Yousef, Secretary General, UAE Tennis Federation; Thomas Karlberg, ATP Supervisor; Sinead El Sibai, Senior Vice President - Marketing, Dubai Duty Free all in attendance at the ATP Draw Ceremony of the 2022 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on February 19, 2022.
Dubai, UAE – February 19 2022: Novak Djokovic could face a formidable challenge as he bids to win his sixth title at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, after he was placed in the same quarter as 2018 champion and in-form Roberto Bautista Agut when the draw was made at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium on Saturday.
Djokovic won the first of his three consecutive titles in 2009, was victorious again in 2013 and a finalist in 2015, and he hoisted the winners trophy for a fifth time in 2020.
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Among those present was tournament wild card Lorenzo Musetti, who saw his name drawn to face the world number one in the first round. Others in the same quarter of the draw as Djokovic include former US Open champion Marin Cilic and this week’s Doha semi-finalist Karen Khachanov, who Djokovic could face in the second round.
“This is the 30th year of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, and I’m happy to say that during that time we’ve had more than 21 number one’s participate in the tournament” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free. “Novak Djokovic is among them, and we are delighted to welcome him to Dubai once again and wish him well as he attempts to win his 87th career title.”
Second seed Andrey Rublev could once again face the player who defeated him in the 2021 Dubai semi-finals before going on to win the title, Aslan Karatsev, as they are both in the bottom quarter of the draw. Rublev opens with a potentially difficult match against 2020 Dubai semi-finalist Daniel Evans, while Karatsev begins the defence of his title against Mackenzie McDonald. Also in the same quarter of the draw is tournament wild card Malek Jaziri, who in 2018 reached the semi-finals before falling to eventual champion Bautista Agut.
Felix Auger-Aliassime is seeded three and plays Nikoloz Basilashvili in the first round, and he is the same quarter of the draw as sixth seed Denis Shapovalov, who starts against Marton Fucsovics. The fourth seed is Jannick Sinner, who along with Djokovic could struggle in a part of the draw that includes not only 2021 Dubai finalist Lloyd Harris and fifth seed Hubert Hurkacz, but former Dubai champion and world number one Andy Murray, who has also been granted a wild card by the tournament.
In the first round, Sinner will play Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, Hurkacz tackles Alexander Bublik, Harris starts against Botic van de Zandschlup and Murray will play a qualifier.
“Once again the draw for the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is strong with four of the top 10 and eight of the top 20 competing to become the 30th anniversary champion,” said Tournament Director Salah Tahlak. “Even the top seeds face potentially difficult matches and it will be very interesting to see who emerges as the winner.”
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, which continues until 26th February, 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.
For ticket information, visit http://www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionship.com