Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
WTA Draw l-r - Sinead El Sibai, Senior Vice-President Marketing, Dubai Duty Free, ATP player Roberto Bautista Agut, ATP player Marin Cilic, Salah Tahlak -Tournament Director; Colm McLoughlin - Executive Vice Chairman and CEO - Dubai Duty Free; Naser Yousef –Secretary General, Tennis Emirates; Lars Graff, Tournament Referee; Ramesh Cidambi - Chief Operating Officer, Dubai Duty Free.
Seeded two in a field that includes nine of the world’s top 20, Roger Federer plays another Tour veteran, Philipp Kohlschreiber, in the first round. And if the seven-time Dubai champion survives that hurdle he could find himself up against Fernando Verdasco, who went all the way to the final before losing to Andy Murray during his last Dubai appearance two years ago. Verdasco plays a qualifier in his opening round. (View: DDFTC 2019 Draws)
Top seed Kei Nishikori is making his Dubai debut and plays Benoit Paire in the first round, with a potential quarter-final against Australian Open sensation Stefanos Tsitsipas looming later.
But it is third seed Marin Cilic, who is playing in Dubai for the first time since 2010, who has the most intimidating opening match among the top contenders for the title. He has to tackle flamboyant Frenchman Gael Monfils, who earlier this month reached the semi-finals of the Sofia Open and followed that up by beating three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka in the Rotterdam final.
Fourth seed Karen Khachanov plays Nikoloz Basilashvili, fifth seed Tsitsipas plays Matthew Ebden, sixth seed Borna Coric opens against Mikhail Kukushkin, seventh seeded Milos Raonic plays Jan-Lennard Struff and eighth seed Daniil Medvedev will play a qualifier.
Defending champion Roberto Bautista Agut has begun the 2019 season well, beating Novak Djokovic and Wawrinka on his way to winning the Doha title before reaching the quarter-finals of the Australian Open. He begins the defence of his title against wild card Ramkumar Ramanathan and he could potentially meet Kukushkin, who he defeated in Melbourne, in the quarter-finals.
“We are delighted to welcome both old faces and new to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free. “Everyone will be keen to see if Roger Federer can win the title yet again, or if a new name will be added to one of the most sought after trophies on the ATP Tour.”
“We have enjoyed a fantastic women’s tournament and now look forward to another wonderful week of exciting competition as many of the top players from the ATP tour challenge for the title,” said Tournament Director Salah Tahlak.
The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, which continues between 25th February and 2nd March, 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 further information about the tournament please visit www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com.