Marin Cilic will play the opening match against a qualifier at Dubai Duty Free Tennis on Monday.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Novak Djokovic will be just one of the Centre Court superstar attractions when the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships kicks off its 30th anniversary celebrations on Monday.
The ATP 500 week explodes into action with a mouth-watering cast of box office stars who will be certain to thrill as they begin their bid for the magnificent and much sought-after trophy.
“We are delighted that the 30th anniversary of the ATP tournament will begin with so many attractive matches which are certain to provide great entertainment for those attending,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free.
“It is with great pleasure that we welcome so many wonderful players back to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, and look forward to many exciting matches in the days ahead.”
Play will begin at 2pm when 2014 US Open winner, Wimbledon and Australian Open runner-up and former world number three Marin Cilic opens proceedings against one of the qualifiers, and victory would set him up for a possible clash with Dubai former champion Roberto Bautista Agut, who on Saturday in Doha claimed his 10th career title.
The second match of the day will feature the always popular Malek Jaziri, who in 2018 reached the semi-finals before falling to eventual champion Bautista Agut. The tournament wildcard will face an intriguing challenge against Filip Krajinovic, who recently reached the semi-finals in Montpellier.
Tennis fans could then not wish for a better first evening of the tournament, as former world number one, three-time Grand Slam champion, two-time Olympic gold medal winner and 2017 Dubai champion Andy Murray takes to the court at 7pm against another qualifier.
After struggling with a serious hip injury that threatened to prematurely end his career, Murray is still a force to be reckoned with as his recent run to the Sydney final proved, with reigning Dubai champion Aslan Karatsev eventually ending his bid for a 48th title.
The final match of a blockbuster opening day features arguably the greatest player of all time, world number one and five-time Dubai champion Novak Djokovic against tournament wild card Lorenzo Musetti, who will be hoping to catch his opponent cold after the 20-time Grand Slam winner takes to the courts for the first time since leading Serbia to the semi-finals of the Davis Cup in November.
“With so many outstanding matches, not only on Monday but throughout the week, we urge tennis fans not to delay in purchasing their tickets as they often sell out,” said Tournament Director Salah Tahlak. “With 100 percent capacity once again allowed, the atmosphere will be electric and we eagerly look forward to a fantastic week of top class entertainment.”