Kei Nishikori has made an important schedule change. The Japanese player has committed to play the 2019 edition of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship that will be held from 25th February to 2nd March 2019. The news was first reported by Japanese media, and then confirmed by Nishikori's agent through Twitter.
'Yes, Kei will play Dubai this year,' he said. It will be the first appearance in the tournament for the 29-year-old, who had played the Mexican Open in Acapulco in the last four editions. In the Mexican tournament, Nishikori achieved his best result in 2015 losing to Spaniard David Ferrer in a straight-set final.
Last year, in Acapulco, Nishikori lost to Denis Shapovalov in the opening round match. Rafael Nadal, Alexander Zverev, Stan Wawrinka, Grigor Dimitrov John Isner and Kevin Anderson have been the players who have been confirmed for Acapulco, so far.
A few months ago, the Dubai Open Tournament Director Salah Talhak had said that four top ten players would probably play in 2019 Dubai, and two have already been confirmed, in Roger Federer and Nishikori. The Swiss player included Dubai in his 2019 schedule after having skipped it in favour of Rotterdam in 2018.
In 2017, Federer lost to Evgeny Donskoy in the second round. The full entry list for the Dubai Open will be released next week. Roberto Bautista Agut is the defending champion. The Spaniard defeated Frenchman Lucas Pouille in the final.