Dubai Tennis Championships made the quiet appearance in the ATP calendar in 1993, with the modest infrastructure and players' facilities, growing ever since to become one of the most prominent events in the world of tennis!
The first significant change came with the opening of the Aviation Club Tennis Centre in 1996 and in 2001 when it earned the promotion into the ATP 500 category, staying there as one of the leading stops on the Tour below Grand Slams and Masters 1000 events.
Over the years, many notable players lifted the trophy in Dubai, including Goran Ivanisevic, Thomas Muster, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Andy Roddick, Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka. However, the two most standout competitors are Roger Federer with record-breaking seven titles and Novak Djokovic who won it four times, the last time in 2013.
Djokovic and the defending champion Federer would have been the top seeds next week but the Swiss had to withdraw due to knee surgery, skipping all the action before Halle in June and leaving Djokovic as the top favorite for the first title in seven years.
World no. 1 Novak Djokovic will open the campaign against Malek Jaziri, with Philipp Kohlschreiber or Mohamed Safwat as the possible rivals in round two. Prajnesh Gunneswaran, Dennis Novak, Mikhail Kukushkin and Karen Khachanov complete the top quarter, with the Russian hoping to score two wins and set Djokovic clash, failing to find the form so far in 2020.
An in-form Gael Monfils will try to continue where he left in Montpellier and Rotterdam, playing against Marton Fucsovics, Yen-Hsun Lu, Yasutaka Uchiyama, Lloyd Harris, Richard Gasquet, Marin Cilic and Benoit Paire en route to the semi-final and potential Djokovic encounter.
In the battle of the youngsters, the 6th seed Andrey Rublev takes on an Italian qualifier Lorenzo Musetti, with Joao Sousa, Filip Krajinovic, Yoshihito Nishioka, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Daniel Evans and Fabio Fognini as the remaining contenders for the semi-final spot from the third quarter.
Marseille champion and the last year's Dubai finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas leads toe bottom quarter, battling against Pablo Carreno Busta in the opening round and Hubert Hurkacz or Alexander Bublik in round two. Roberto Bautista Agut, Jan-Lennard Struff, Nikoloz Basilashvili and Ricardas Berankis are also there, hoping to topple Stefanos and advance into the semis.