Novak Djokovic, 34, admits reaching Roger Federer's record of eight Dubai title might be a "longshot" for him but he is certainly hoping to win it all at the tournament this week. Djokovic, ranked at No. 1 in the world, has a great finals record in Dubai as he has five titles in six finals played.
Djokovic captured three consecutive Dubai titles between 2009 and 2011. Djokovic captured his fourth Dubai title in 2013, before ending runner-up at the tournament in 2015. Djokovic won his fifth Dubai title after beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the 2020 Dubai final.
On the other side, Federer hasn't played at the tournament since winning his eighth Dubai title in 2019. "It's quite a longshot, I would say. He's won it eight times. I won it I think five times. I don't know how many more years I'm going to be playing on a high level and being one of the contenders to win the tournament;" Djokovic said.
Djokovic received a warm welcome in Dubai
Before the start of the tournament, Dubai tournament director Salah Tahlak said Djokovic was more than welcome in Dubai. "I think we have to always be positive. Dubai is a positive city.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed is always positive,” Tahlak told Khaleej Times. “He (Sheikh Mohammed) said whatever happened in the history, leave it behind you. Let’s not go for it, if we stand still, that’s not going to help.
It’s always better to think ahead and it’s always better to think about the future and always be positive. “I think it’s great to have him (Djokovic) back because he is the number one player in the world.
He has been our former champion and for this city and this tournament, it’s absolutely great to have him back." Djokovic is set to kick off his Dubai campaign against rising Italian star Lorenzo Musetti.