The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship Tournament Director Salah Tahlak expects a tough battle to take place in the ATP 500 tournament that takes place in just more than a week. Kei Nishikori is playing the tournament for the first time in his career and Tahlak expects some huge performances from the Japanese, who may upset Roger Federer in the tournament.
Nishikori starts as the first seed in Dubai having just topped Federer on the rankings. “Having overcome his frustrating wrist injury and a less serious issue that forced him to retire from his quarter-final in Melbourne, Kei Nishikori has become a leading contender for the title", said Tahlak in a statement.
Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free, added: "We are delighted to welcome Kei Nishikori to Dubai for the first time. He has long been successful at the very highest level, reaching the US Open final in 2014 as well as two semi-finals there, the most recent just last year, on a hard court similar to the surface here.
That suggests that he is certainly capable of leaving Dubai with the title, and we wish him well”. Nishikori is proud of his comeback. Just more than a year ago he was outside the top 200, now he is world No. 7. "It took a little while to get my tennis back.
Also, my wrist was hurting at the same time. It took a little while to get healed 100 per cent. At that time I couldn’t really imagine I’d be in the Top 10 at the end of the year. But I was very happy to finish by playing in London last year", concluded the 29-year-old.