Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Tournament Director Salah Tahlak has labelled rising Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas as a "real title contender" for this year's Dubai title. Tsitsipas, 20, kicked off his 2019 campaign in style by reaching his maiden Grand Slam semi-final at Melbourne Park.
The 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals champion was bidding to win his maiden Grand Slam title but had no answer for world No. 2 Rafael Nadal in their Australian Open semi-final match. Tsitsipas will be one of the main attractions at the 2019 Dubai event this year, which is set to feature a star-studded player field.
The 20-year-old debuted in Dubai last year -- when he reached the quarter-final, before losing to Malek Jaziri. Roger Federer, Marin Cilic, Karen Khachanov, Borna Coric, Milos Raonic are just one of the star names expected to play in Dubai from February 25 - March 02.
"Stefanos Tsitsipas has made enormous strides since he lost here in the quarterfinals a year ago. Now he returns as a very real title contender and it will be very interesting to see how well he does against such a challenging field," Talhak said, per The Khaleej Times.
Dubai Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Colm McLoughlin also believes Tsitsipas will be one of the favorite# to win it all at the tournament this year as he said of the Greek: "It is always a great pleasure to welcome exciting new stars to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, and we are delighted to see Stefanos Tsitsipas back with us again.
He has proved that he is capable of beating the very best, and he returns to us this year with every chance of leaving as the champion."