DUBAI: With a five-time winner, four of the world’s top 10, three previous champions, and two of the game’s all-time greats, the 31st Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is set to showcase one of its strongest lineups from Feb. 19 to March 4.
Following a week of women’s action at the stadium, world No. 2 Rafael Nadal, injury permitting, and world No. 5 Novak Djokovic remain on course to head an impressive ATP lineup boasting four of the world’s top 10 male players.
Reigning Dubai champion and world No. 6 Andrey Rublev, who is still going strong in the Australian Open, will return to defend his title and is joined by 2021 US Open winner and world No. 8 Daniil Medvedev.
The extended field features nine of the world’s top 20, including Olympic gold medalist Alexander Zverev, world No. 11 Hubert Hurkacz, 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, world No. 15 Pablo Carreno Busta, and world No. 20 Karen Kachanov, a Dubai resident and quarterfinalist at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium in 2020.
“The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships has a long history of providing fans with the chance to watch the best players in the world,” said Colm McLoughlin, executive vice chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free. “With seven of the top 20 men, including Novak, as well as last year’s winner Andrey Rublev and a host of others, spectators in Dubai are in for another fantastic, unmissable tournament next month.”
The return of Nadal to the championships, 15 years after his last appearance, was confirmed earlier this month. However, the 22-time Grand Slam winner suffered a grade two tear in his left pelvis area during the ongoing Australian Open.
Tournament Director Salah Tahlak said: “The news of Rafa Nadal’s injury last week in Melbourne was most unfortunate. We wish him all the best for a rapid return to full health and fitness. His well-being is the priority. We are in contact with Rafa’s team and will be monitoring the situation in the coming days and weeks.”
This week, the organizers also confirmed a women’s field that will feature the world’s top 10 and 18 of the top 20 female players from Feb. 19-25.
“Having such impressive fields for both the WTA and ATP tournaments means spectators will witness world-class action on court once again next month. As ever, we will also have a multitude of fun activities in the Tennis Village providing fans of all ages with live entertainment, a host of competitions, and big screens broadcasting the action,” said Tahlak.