Five times winner. Four of the 10 best in the world. Three previous champions. Two of the best in the game. An eventual winner. The countdown to the 31st Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships (DDFTC), taking place from February 19 to March 4, begins today after organizers confirmed an impressive men's field that will feature a host of emerging and established names, including four Grand Slams.
After what promises to be a packed week of women's action at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, World No. 2 Rafael Nadal, injury permitting, and World No. 5 Novak Djokovic remain on track to top an impressive ATP lineup boasting four of the world's top 10 men's players, from February 25 to March 4.
Reigning Dubai champion Andrey Rublev (world no.6), still going strong at the Australian Open, will return to defend his title and will be joined by 2021 US Open winner Daniil Medvedev (world no. 8 in the world). The extended field features nine of the top 20 in the world, including Olympic gold medalist Alexander Zverev, World No.
11 Hubert Hurkacz, 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, World No. 15 Pablo Carreno Busta, he does not. World 20 Karen Kachanov, a resident of Dubai. and a quarter-finalist at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium in 2020. “The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships has a long history of offering fans the opportunity to see the best players in the world,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice President and CEO of Dubai Duty Free.
“Featuring seven of the top 20 men, including Novak, as well as last year's winner Andrey Rublev and many others, spectators in Dubai will be in for another fantastic, must-see tournament next month”. Nadal's return to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, 15 years after his last appearance, was confirmed earlier this month.
However, the 22-time Grand Slam player suffered a grade two tear in the left pelvic area during the ongoing Australian Open and tournament organizers are in contact with his team.
Alex Corretja opens up on Rafa Nadal
Passing on the airwaves of El Larguero to discuss the defeat of Rafael Nadal in the second round of the Australian Open and his hip injury which will also keep him away from the field for a period of 6 to 8 weeks, Alex Corretja expressed his concern.
“The goal is to prepare well to reach the clay court tournaments, and not force in these fast surface tournaments. He had difficult years, but what is incredible is what he achieved last year: Australia was a miracle, he won Roland Garros with a limp… This is the key year, because if he sees that he is not able to sustain the rhythm of seven Grand Slam matches, he will think seriously about his future.
He always takes his body to the limit, and he needs his body to be 100%. The hip is a sensitive area, it is a normal frustration."