ATP Tour

Djokovic set for ATP return in Dubai

2016-02-21 13:25
Novak Djokovic (AFP)

Dubai - After decompressing at home with the family in Monte Carlo in the wake of his sixth Australian Open title, unbeatable Novak Djokovic is primed for a return to the courts at the Dubai Tennis Championships starting on Monday.

The world number one who owns four titles at the Aviation Club (2009-2011 and 2013), will take the top seeding ahead of French Open champion Stan Wawrinka and number three Tomas Berdych.

Missing from the hardcourt field is Roger Federer, winner of the last two editions, and Andy Murray, who remains at home with his family after the birth of his daughter this month.

Djokovic arrived early in the sun-soaked emirate from the European winter and promptly hit the practise courts, pausing for a photo session at a massive water park close to his suite at the seven-star Burg al-Arab hotel.

The Serb who lost the 2015 final to Federer will be keen to keep the winning 2016 momentum on his side as he opens play against Spain's Tommy Robredo, whom he has beaten in six of eight meetings.

"No doubt that I'm playing the best tennis of my life in last 15 months," Djokovic said after Melbourne. "Everything is going well privately, as well.

"I became a father and husband, I have a family, so I feel like I'm at the point in my life where everything is working in harmony."

Wawrinka returns to Dubai for the first time since 2008 and will be looking for his first victory here.

The Swiss player's game has stalled since winning in Chennai to start the season as he went out in the Australian Open fourth round and lost in the Marseille quarter-finals to France's Benoit Paire.

Berdych, a two-time finalist, was put out by Djokovic in the semi-finals a year ago. The Czech is seeking his first trophy since winning Stockholm last autumn and begins in the first round with Joao Sousa of Portugal.

Joker in the pack for the week will be Nick Kyrgios, whose explosive no-holds-barred game will be on display for the first time in the city-state.

The colourful and controversial Australian ranked 41st, will begin his debut as he faces seventh seed Martin Klizan, winner of the Rotterdam title a week ago over Gael Monfils.

Two young guns are part of the 32-man draw, with South Korea's Chung Hyeon facing Andreas Seppi and Croatian Borna Coric taking on Jiri Vesely to start with.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 

Quiz: Test your Rio Olympics memory!

Think you know what went on at the Rio Olympics? Prove it by tackling Sport24's ridiculously impossible yet highly addictive post-Games quiz!

 
 

Rio Olympics

GALLERY: SA's Rio Olympic medallists
As it happened: Rio Olympics - Day 17
Selecting 6 numbers turned Britain into Olympic superpower
Caster cranks up the heat in Rio semi
Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

Follow all the action from the 2016 Rio Olympics. The highs, the lows, the tears, the smiles as the world's greatest athletes compete for gold, silver and bronze.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.