World no. 2 and 16-time Major champion Novak Djokovic will make a return to the ATP 500 event in Dubai next month, entering the prestigious event for the first time since 2016. Novak joins a strong field of ATP stars, led by Roger Federer, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Roberto Bautista Agut, Gael Monfils, Karen Khachanov, Andrey Rublev and others, seeking the fifth title in the desert and the first since 2013.
Novak made a debut in Dubai in 2007, losing to Roger Federer in the quarters and to Andy Roddick in the semis a year later before going all the way in 2009. The Serb was the player to beat in Dubai until 2013, claiming four crowns in five years before suffering losses to Roger Federer in 2014 and 2015.
Novak and Roger should be the players to beat again, ahead of Stefanos Tsitsipas who lost in the final to the Swiss in 2019, hoping to take an extra step and claim the title next month. "We are thrilled to welcome Novak Djokovic back to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships," said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free.
"He is one of the greatest champions the game has ever seen, with 16 Grand Slam titles so far to his name and more to come in the future. We are delighted to not only welcome him but also one of the finest athletes in any sport over the past decade and more, Roger Federer, as well as one of the brightest future stars on the ATP Tour, Stefanos Tsitsipas.
They will begin as favorites for the title, but experience over the years has shown us that none can be assured of success here in what is such a competitive field. It will be fascinating to see who will emerge as the winner."
"The stage is set once again for a magnificent two weeks of world-class tennis, with one of the strongest men's and women's fields ever assembled in Dubai," said Tournament Director Salah Tahlak. "With so many top players confirmed, fans will have their pick on which world-class matches to watch on Centre Court."