Novak Djokovic in Dubai
Novak Djokovic in Dubai Image Credit: AP

The WTA players are barely out the door at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, with Jelena Ostapenko packing the singles trophy in her suitcase, and fellow finalist Veronika Kudermetova and teammate Elise Mertens taking home the doubles crown, and already the ATP stars are out on court, going through their warm-ups and practice regimes.

The men’s event begins on Monday, and there is no doubt who the main attraction is.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic is in town as he looks to bag his sixth DDFTC title — but by no means will he have things all his own way, with a whole host of challengers lining up to get their hands on the famous Dhow trophy on the event’s 30th anniversary.

The main draw for the ATP Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships
The main draw for the ATP Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships Image Credit: AFP

“We are delighted that the 30th anniversary of the ATP tournament will begin with so many attractive matches which are certain to provide great entertainment for those attending,” said Colm McLoughlin, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free. “It is with great pleasure that we welcome so many wonderful players back to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, and look forward to many exciting matches in the days ahead.”

Play will begin at 2pm on Centre Court on Monday with 2014 US Open winner, Wimbledon and Australian Open runner-up and former world No. 3 Marin Cilic in action against a qualifier. Victory would set him up for a possible clash with Dubai former champion Roberto Bautista Agut, who is fresh from his 10th career title in Doha in the Qatar Open.

Next up is fan favourite Malek Jaziri, with the wild card entrant up against Filip Krajinovic.

Former world No. 1 — two-time Wimbledon champion, double Olympic gold medallist, and 2017 Dubai winner Andy Murray of Scotland gets going against another qualifier at 7pm. The star is on the road back after serious hip injury that threatened to prematurely end his career, and he recently reached the Sydney final, with reigning Dubai champion Aslan Karatsev eventually ending his bid for a 48th ATP title.

The final match on Monday will see one of tennis’ GOATS Djokovic — the world No. 1, five-time Dubai champion and 20-time Grand Slam winner taking on wild card Lorenzo Musetti.

“With so many outstanding matches, not only on Monday but throughout the week, and with 100 per cent capacity once again allowed, the atmosphere will be electric and we eagerly look forward to a fantastic week of top class entertainment,” said tournament director Salah Tahlak.